THE POWER OF OUR WORDS
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
James 3:7-12 NLT
Today James continues his discussion from yesterday about the power of the tongue to cause destruction. He calls it “restless and evil, full of deadly poison.” Then he goes farther to talk about the contradiction of our tongues. At one moment we are praising God and the next we are cursing those made in God’s image. Words have the power of life or death. Words can build up or they can tear down. When we use words to express lies, gossip, slander, boasting, flattery, hypocrisy, and more we are releasing death. One way to remove much of the problem is to choose to talk less. I love the wisdom of Proverbs 10:19, “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” What amazing things could happen if we could learn to keep our mouths shut. I have personally discovered that I don’t have to respond to every post on social media. I don’t have to respond to every email or text. There are times it is best to ignore what someone else says. There are times it is best not to comment or just walk away. A lot less fires would get started if we just didn’t allow sparks to fly from our tongues or thumbs.
Holy Spirit help me to learn the power of silence. Help me to be slow to speak. Help me to control my tongue and thumbs.
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