MM00041 The power of the tongue
Mentoring Manna: The power of the tongue
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” What is the most powerful thing in the human arsenal? It is the tongue. The tongue can heal or kill. The tongue has brought healing to the wounded, hope to the hopeless, encouragement to the downcast, love to the loveless, strength to the weary, restoration to the broken, joy to the grieving, knowledge to the ignorant, wisdom to the simple, and released blessing and life. On the other hand, the tongue has devastated more lives than all wars combined. The tongue has crushed self-esteem, destroyed marriages, damaged friendships, divided churches, stopped revival, ruined reputations, peddled lies, polluted minds, inflicted cruelty, inflamed hatred, incited violence, and ignited great wars. The Scripture declares, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell…No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:6, 8) There is a saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” However, nothing could be further from the truth! Sticks and stones inflict wounds that heal in a short time, but words can inflict wounds that remain for a lifetime. Like the bite of a rattlesnake, the poison in hurtful words can continue to do its damage long after the strike has taken place. A gun has the power to provide and protect or to mangle and murder. The way it is used depends upon the owner. In the same way, the tongue has the power of life and death, and of blessing and cursing. The way it is used depends upon the owner. Although we are free to say whatever we choose, we will one day be held accountable for every word spoken. Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” We hold in our mouth a powerful instrument called the tongue. It has the power to release either life or death. It is our responsibility to choose which it will be.
Application: Our words are containers that carry life or death. The power of our words continues long after we release them. The story is told of a woman who came to her pastor to ask his forgiveness for all of the bad things she had been saying against him and the church. Without hesitation, he graciously extended his forgiveness to her. However, he asked if she would do him a favor. She happily agreed. He gave her a basket filled with feathers and asked her to go downtown and to empty the basket into the wind. Although the request was odd, she was glad to be forgiven and joyfully performed the task. When she returned, she told the pastor that she had done what he had asked. “Now,” he replied, “I want you to gather up all of the feathers and bring them back to me.” She replied, “Pastor, the wind has carried them everywhere. It would be impossible for me to ever gather them all up again!” He said, “Exactly. This is the lesson I want you to learn. Even though I have lovingly forgiven you, your words have spread all over this town. You will never be able to undo all of the damage that your words have done. Please be careful in the future.” If you are using your tongue in an unrighteous way, then repent and stop it before more damage is done. Seek forgiveness and reconciliation from those you have hurt. Remember, your tongue has the power of life and death and of blessing and cursing. Use it wisely knowing one day you will give account for every word.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I understand that I will be held accountable for every word that I speak. I repent for using my tongue to curse rather than to bless. By faith I ask and receive Your forgiveness. I choose today to carefully consider the words I speak. From this day forward, I determine to use my tongue to bless and heal rather than to curse and kill. I ask for Your help in this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Grace Fellowship P.O. Box 260 Rusk, Texas 75785 (903) 683-6550
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