I am a firm believer in the power of both the spoken and the written word; words have broken apart families, merged corporations, brought war to countries all around the globe, unified countries in times of trouble, and comforted the hearts of many. I think that we sometimes forget the power of the tongue. We see power corrupted by financial giants and misused by Hollywood stars all the time and we fail to see how the lesson relates to our own lives. Each of us has power. How we use our power greatly effects the rest of our lives.
My Bible says, "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" James 3:5 The tongue is small and seems so insignificant, but in that tiny muscle lies the power to tear down and destroy lives by one careless word. How many people are no longer in ministry or even in church due to the careless words of a fellow believer? How many new Christians have stagnated after a brief time of being saved because of some wise old bat who decided it was their place to set them straight and not allow God the time to work in His new-found child's heart? I've seen people destroyed based solely on the exaggerated stories of one young person and it's devastating to those involved! Not only is that person's life destroyed, but when the person spreading rumors comes to realize the full effect of their words, the guilt that comes over them is almost crushing in some cases and can cause health problems and hinder God's working in their life. We need to watch our tongues and consider the end of the thing BEFORE we speak!
You've heard the old saying "Look before you leap"? Well, I say it's even more important to "Think before you speak"! If you leap without looking and sprain your ankle when you land on a rock, you're hurt; if you speak something cruel without thinking, you not only hurt the person at whom your comment was directed, but you also cause those listening to think less of you and set an example for the less mature hearers that it's 'ok' to be cruel. You damage your testimony and reputation with one careless word.
Controlling your tongue is NOT the easiest thing in the world. Just this morning I made an offhanded comment to a roommate that I thought was harmless. I was so grateful when she paused and said, "I'm not gonna lie, that kind of offended me." Because she wasn't afraid to tell me how my careless words made her feel, I was able to apologize right then and there and make things right! Had she not said anything and allowed that hurt to fester inside of her, we'd have a bomb in our room just waiting to go off! Our tongues are like grenades being thrown out, planted in the minds and hearts of those around us, waiting for the moment their true meaning will soak in and change that person's life; whether they'll explode and cause devastation or break through the gloom and push that person on toward higher accomplishments and dreams is up to us.
Don't destroy those around you by being dumb and throwing out your words carelessly. Watch your mouth. Build people up. Look for the complimentary aspects of those around you and SHOUT THEM FROM THE ROOFTOPS!!!!! Definitely something I have to work on, and, hopefully, it's helpful to you too.
Ok. Coffee time.