The Power of the Tongue – I Said This, You Heard That.

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When you see the doctor, the first thing he or she does is check your tongue. Sometimes, the illness can be diagnosed   by looking at it alone. How we speak reveals a lot about us—the country where we live, our jobs, our values, and our lives’ purpose.

Author Betty Eadie wrote: “If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative. In our thoughts and words, we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths. Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts. We can always replace negative with positive.”

If we want our tongues to be right, then our inner person must be under the control of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45 ESV). Whatever fills our heart inevitably comes out.

God can control our tongues through the Holy Spirit so that we can bless, encourage, build, and give blessing to others through our words.

Proverbs 11:9

With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous.

One identifying mark of  hypocrites is that they destroy people with their words. Sincere love looks to build others up, not to destroy them. Remember the old children’s saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”? The hurtful words we speak can create scars that last longer than any physical scar that sticks and stones may cause.

Proverbs 15:4
Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Words can destroy or words can heal; a wholesome tongue speaks words of hope and life, not death.

Proverbs 18:21    
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

The greatest good and the greatest harm are in the power of the tongue, you choose the words you use.

An article I recently read called the “Tongue: Our Tool of Power” articulates some truths about our tongues that are worth sharing.

God created in man the ability to communicate with the spoken word. He gave us the tongue as a tool to use to speak with each other. It enables us to tell each other how we feel and what we think, as well as to convey words of wisdom, hope, encouragement, and love.

He gave us the ability to worship him in speech, to communicate his laws and his ways. This gift from God is all too often used by Satan for his own plans. At every opportunity, he tries to create stumbling blocks for God’s people by ruining their relationships with family, friends, and fellow believers.

But in the book of Romans we read: “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister” (Romans 14:13 NIV).

In tough times of uncertainty, we can find ourselves speaking negative words towards others. I believe God desires us to be different though. We can be by taking time no matter the circumstance to encourage one another.

What does your tongue reveal about you? What fills your heart? Have you ever asked the Holy Spirit to take control of your tongue? Ask yourself, “How can I let love lead and choose the words that I use?”

Next Steps:
Fill your heart with grace by reading and memorizing Scripture, joining a life group, surrounding yourself with and supporting other believers in Christ.

Abba Father, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3 NIV). I pray that  the words that I use be transparent and honest so that I can be an appropriate reflection of you. I pray against thoughts of lying, malicious talk, or any other negative use of words, because speech was not given for me to abuse. Instead let me build up others with words that come from you. Amen.

This post was written by Gary Schnabel, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.

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