Power Of The Tongue

February 25, 2020


By GV Potter

The following post was written by a member of our fellowship.

Consider the tongue: a member of your body that can cause great harm to others without physically touching them. It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword; but the tongue could possibly be mightier than both of them put together! It’s a small part of your body, yet it has the power of life or death, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” (Prov. 18:21). A judge or jury can determine whether an accused person should live or die, simply by saying a word! Although it may not be your intention, a spoken lie or gossip can break somebody’s heart and cause collateral damage to innocent people. The message is overheard, others repeat it, and arguments occur. All this leads to unnecessary pain and hurt that can last a lifetime, and can even result in death. According to Romans 1:29, the Bible groups together lying and gossip (“whisperers”) with murder. Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” The truth is, if you speak softly you won’t need a big stick! God’s Word tells you in Titus 2:8, “to use sound speech that cannot be condemned…” You also should use graceful speech which cannot be spoken evil of, because it’s  “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man…” (Matt. 15:11).


When you go to the Doctor for a check-up, and he asks you to open your mouth and say “Aaah,” he’s examining your tongue. In the same manner that your tongue tells a physician a lot about your physical health, it can also tell a lot about your spiritual health.  This is because there’s a direct link between having a critical, careless tongue and spiritual soundness. All of us are instructed to control our tongue in Psalms 34:13, “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.” James, the half brother of Jesus, tells us in James 1:26, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this ones religion is useless.” You ask, “How can I keep from doing this?” You can start by being more aware of your surroundings and the current situation you’re in, and learning to pause before you speak.  Draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit within you and remind yourself that once a word has left your lips, it can never be taken back.  Practice what Paul says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hears,” (Eph. 4:29).


Without a doubt words are like hammers: they can be used to break down or build up. It all depends on the person swinging the hammer. So always be mindful that it’s just as easy to be part of the construction crew as it is the wrecking crew. When you feel the need to talk, then  talk to God, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord,” (Ps.19:14). The words you let come out of your mouth matter now and they’ll matter later. Matthew 12:37 sums up the seriousness of this matter with a stern warning: “For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.”


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