This post by Stephanie Shott deals with an issue we – at least me! – can never hear enough about. My tongue has done more damage than I like to admit. This is a great reminder for me today! (This is an abridged version. Read the original post here.)
The words we say are packed with power; they can speak death into a person’s life; they’re like a flame of fire; they can corrupt our entire body OR they can speak life into someone’s life. The sobering truth is, as Christians, the choice is ours.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” and in the NLT, James 3:6 says, ” And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”
Today, we have the opportunity to choose life – not just for yourself, but for those in your sphere of influence – the ones you have the opportunity to speak to.
Recently, I was at the grocery store when I heard a mother cussing at her little boy, telling him to shut up and snatching him by the arm. He just asked her if he could sit in the cart. An innocent question, but I think I could see the flames of fire coming out of her mouth as she spoke death to her own son. Every time she chided that child you could almost see a little piece of his heart shriveling up.
Maybe you’ve been the recipient of death words and know how they can crush your spirit, derail your dreams, skew your self-image and hurt your heart. Maybe you don’t see yourself as you really are because you believed it when someone else told you you were someone or something you really aren’t.
Oh, sweet friends, I wish I could hug every one of you reading this right now, because I know what it’s like to find yourself somewhere in the middle of believing you are who and what others have said about you or trusting you are exactly who Christ has created you to be. The place where you try to believe with your heart what you know with your head to be true because Jesus said it was true. Nothing more. Nothing less.
The way to find healing for the heart that has been hurt by the callous, the critical and the cruel is to immerse yourself in the Word of the Living God. There you will find the truth about who you are as you allow Scripture to speak life to your life. I’m not sure why we would believe anyone else when the God who spoke life into this dark and empty world is the same God who tells us we were created in His image – fearfully and wonderfully made – that we are perfect in His sight – complete in Him. We are the objects of His affection, the apple of His eye and inscribed upon the palm of His hands. It doesn’t get any better than that! Don’t you dare believe you are anything less than our Savior died to make you!
Unfortunately, the flipside is also true. We’ve all been guilty of slicing and dicing people with our tongues. We’ve all said things we shouldn’t. Whether out of anger, arrogance or ignorance, we’ve all cut others with our sharp tongues. Intentionally or not, it doesn’t change the fact that we have wounded others with our words.
If you’ve ever been hurt by hurtful words, you know how it feels. You may not be able to control what others say, but you have the power, through the Spirit of the Living God, to overcome an unbridled tongue. But as we studied Monday, it begins with filling our coffers with good stuff.
Today, I pray you will evaluate your word choices to your husband, your children, your family member, your friends and your coworkers. Are you speaking life into theirs or are you wounding them with your words? Are you stirring the pot and causing division or are you speaking peaceful words of encouragement and forgiveness?