A lot is at stake in what we say today.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21).
In literate societies, tongues include hands that write, type, paint, or sign.
Words Cause Death
People die because of something said. Tongues can be weapons of mass destruction, launching holocausts and wars. Tongues can also be the death of marriages, families, friendships, churches, careers, hopes, understanding, reputations, missionary efforts, and governments.
Words Give Life
But people also live because of something said.
The tongue can be “a tree of life” (Prov. 15:4).
Tongues reconcile peoples and make peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt 5:9).
Tongues can make marriages sweet, families strong, and churches healthy.
Tongues can give hope to the despairing, advance understanding, and spread the gospel.
So what will come out of your mouth today, death or life?
“Sword thrusts” or “healing” (Prov 12:18)?
What Fills Your Heart?
It will all depend on what’s filling your heart. Jesus said, “. . . out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). A critical heart produces a critical tongue. A self-righteous heart produces a judgmental tongue. A bitter heart produces an acerbic tongue. An ungrateful heart produces a grumbling tongue.
But a loving heart produces a gracious tongue. A faithful heart produces a truthful tongue. A peaceful heart produces a reconciling tongue. A trusting heart produces an encouraging tongue.
So fill your heart with grace by soaking in your Bible. Soak in Matthew 5, or Romans 12, or 1 Corinthians 13, or Philippians 2. And be very careful taking in the words of death in the newspaper, on the radio, the TV, or the blog.
And pray: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalms 141:3)
The world is full of words of death. “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19) who “was a murderer from the beginning. . . and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Let us not join him in his “restless evil” (James 3:8).
Pray this prayer with me:
Most Precious Lord Jesus, Gentle And Wonderful God, Truly Awesome And Ever-present Holy Spirit, Precious Lord Jesus, I love you.
May the words of my mouth always be words of love…the love you are and the love you give to me every hour.
May the words of my mouth always be words of life…the life you are and the love you give to me every hour.
May the words of my mouth always be words of humility…the humility glorifying you and the humility glorifying your work in the world.
May the words of my mouth always be words of love sent out only in your name and reflecting only your will and not my will.
All these things I humbly pray in the name of my most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, my Mighty God, and my Ever-present Holy Spirit upon whom I can rely.