Sacred Truth Friday: Power of the Tongue

Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.

James 3:1-12
Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

The tongue really has power to bring life or death.

We can put others down, ridicule them, gossip and backbite. Or we can choose to lift others up. Encourage and comfort them with our words. Our words can affect others in a positive or negative way. We should be careful what we say and how we say it.

Even when speaking the truth, we shouldn't speak as a know it all or arrogant. But speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

The tongue is hard to tame and we can be harsh or short with others, especially our own family. But when it comes to difficult family members or any one who is difficult for that matter, we should have compassion on them and be patient with them. Don't be harsh, short or rude.

And the only way to tame the tongue is with God's help. Ask Him to guide our tongues with loving, kind words.

Taming the tongue is difficult but with God's help it can be done.


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