May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Psalms 19:14 NLT
You can tell someone's heart by the way they talk. Words are a reflection of the heart. Jesus said this: “You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” Matthew 12:34 NLT Words have such power. They can build us up or tear us down. They can fan a flame in someone's heart or extinguish it. The old saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is one of the most foolish statements ever made. Often, a person can heal from physical injury easier than they can words that have inflicted hurt upon them. James chapter 3 is a very clear passage about this matter. “Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 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 3:2-12 NLT Words can start wars, destroy marriages, snuff out the spark of child's spirit, and so many other negative things. However, words can also speak life and blessing. “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21 NLT Our tongues are an instrument that God has given us to communicate. How we communication is the issue. We can use it to bless or we can use it to cause a mess. So many of us use our tongues in evil ways. We are pessimistic, we grumble and complain, we are cynical, and we criticize more than we commend. We find ourselves in a routine of talk that is laced with the venom of the world around us. We get caught in a rut, speaking in accordance with the culture around us rather than from the Spirit of God. The tongue only weighs 2 or 3 ounces, yet it unleashes such havoc. As children of God, our tongues should be used for the glory of God, which, in turn, will bring about a righteous result. This is not to say that we aren't to be firm, truthful, and even corrective in our words when necessary. In fact, this is a righteous thing to do when addressed with the Spirit of God as our teleprompter. There will be times when we simply need to confront an issue with forthright reproof or rebuke, but we must never forget to exhort as well. Paul told Timothy this: “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2 NLT Whatever the words may be, let us speak under the influence of the Holy Spirit and not our sinful nature. The Spirit brings life! The flesh brings death.
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, guard my tongue, guide my tongue, and glorify Yourself in the way I use my tongue. Take my heart and make it Yours. Fill my heart with Your Word! If my heart is Yours, so my tongue will also be.
Rev. Curtis Norris