January 22, 2016
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Everyone has heard and remembers the childhood adage, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” It’s a lie. James puts it poignantly: but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Indeed, our words have the power to build up or to destroy. According to the Bible, our words may be the most powerful thing we have. Hear these words from the book of Proverbs.
From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
and the work of their hands brings them reward. Proverbs 12:14
The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. Proverbs 12:18-19
Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
The words of the mouth are deep waters,
but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream. Proverbs 18:4
The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11
I am fond of asking others, particularly friends, this question: “Do you have a word for me?” My expectation is they will give me one of two possible words; either a word from God for me or a word of God to me. In other words, a word of prophecy or a word of wisdom or if neither of these, then a word of scripture.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue.
“No human being can tame the tongue.” The good news is the tongue can be tamed. We just can’t do it on our own. The tongue can be tamed as it is trained by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. It’s a critical aspect of our discipleship to Jesus. Always remember, one of the greatest powers you have resides in your tongue. Use it boldly yet with great care.
1. Can you remember the last time you intentionally built someone up with your words? Not words of flattery but of truth. How did that impact you? How about them?
2. Remember a time when someone’s words hurt or wounded you. First, have you forgiven them? What would it look like to become a person who does not return curse for curse but blessing for curse?
3. Are you coming to grips with the power of your words? How will you grow in the days ahead as a person who blesses others with words? How about today?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.