Monday, March 7, 2016
Words Are Everything
“…but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” James 3:8-9, 11.
I love my morning coffee and Bruce loves his morning tea. We cannot begin our day unless we have prepared, settled in and sipped on our energizing beverages. But what if we were to prepare our morning drinks with salt water? The outcome would not be quite so enjoyable. The taste would change and the experience would be less than desirable.
The same is with our tongues when preparing our speech. James wrote 12 verses exhorting and cautioning us to tame the tongue. Acts 2 uses the metaphor of the tongues of fire coming from heaven as the Holy Spirit was sent from God to rest on His chosen. James compares the tongue in its most evil form as deadly poison, ‘corrupting the whole person’ and ‘sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.’ James 3:6. It seems to me that the difference in our words is the motivation from where they originated…the compassionate and merciful heaven or the judgmental and condemning gates of hell.
We use the tongue more than any other part of our body. James also states, ‘Everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak…’ James 1:19. Proverbs 10:19a lends us its wisdom as it is written, ‘When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.’
The most effective way to use our tongues when speaking at all is to believe God in Exodus 4:12 when Moses didn’t know what to say. God comforted him with the truth of how man should prepare his speech… ‘I will teach you what to say.’ If we become a ‘quick to hear, slow to speak’ people and allow God to speak through us with His teachings our spring will run fresh and clear with His living waters.
May our tongues become restless to share the things of God with everyone we meet instead of becoming full of deadly poison. Our words either build up or tear down and we are the drivers of our mouths. May our words be full of God's grace and a vessel for His comfort to others.