There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)
Very often, when we contemplate Biblical teaching about ‘the tongue’ we are drawn to the famous chapter in the Book of James that so eloquently deals with the subject. We read strongly worded verses verses such as…
“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:5,6 )
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (James 3:10)
But,it was not just James who dealt with this topic. The use / abuse of the tongue is a topic that many of the authors of the Bible tackled.
Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! (Psalms 34:12-13)
To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:2 )
Even Jesus had something to say about the tongue.
How can you speak good when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. (Matthew 12:34,35)
And Billy Graham reminds us:
“A harsh word can’t be taken back; no apology can fully repair its damage.”
God tells us that words have power. That power can be used to bring comfort, solace, encouragement, healing. But it can also bring stress, discouragement, wounding or humiliation. We can use our tongue to bring blessing, or we can use our tongues to bring pain. The choice is ours.
However, we must also remember that it’s not only our words that wound. I, personally, have suffered more from the WAY things have been said to me rather than words themselves. Maybe some of you can identify with that. An unkind tone of voice can bring the fiery darts that wound so severely and can leave a mark, sometime for years.
Time and time again, the Bible reminds us of the importance of the use of our tongue.Thousands of Christian writers have reminded us. Pastors have reminded us. Friends have reminded us. Maybe, for someone today, this will serve as an important reminder. Let’s not ignore it.
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