The power of words and how they are used is a very heavy thing. They can build someone up and bring great joy, or, they can tear someone down and bring great sadness – or worse. Over the years, I’ve seen many lives, relationships, friendships, even marriages harmed and destroyed over the misuse of words. God teaches us that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” [Proverbs 18:21].
That is a very heavy and very true statement. Yet, sadly, even Christian believers who are aware of this, still show an amazing disregard for the use, tone, and presentation of their words, vocabulary, and language.We have all known the sting of harsh, negative, hurtful and bitter words. Click To Tweet
Many times, Christians point their finger at the world, (i.e. politics, entertainment, business, etc.) and “judge” them, based on the many expletives or harsh tone of their language, including slander, gossip, even abusive accusations one toward another. Yet, it cannot be denied that within the ranks of Christianity, we have not only in many ways equaled the world in this sinful behavior, but in some ways have “outdone” the world in harsh, divisive, slanderous, and even expletive-laden vocabulary. God speaks as much about hypocrisy, as he does anything else.
The truth is, only God can give us the strength, the discipline, and the caring hearts, to use our words for good, and not for evil. In the book of James we read:
“Or take ships for example. Although they are so large and driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” [James 3:4-5].
If our tongues are controlled by our emotions, our flesh, our circumstances, or the power of evil, then we will completely misrepresent the goodness, kindness, wisdom, and excellency of the character and nature of the God we love and serve. But if we ask God’s Holy Spirit to control, teach, form, lead, guide and bless our tongues, then we will bring honor to our faith – and the name of Jesus. Where does it begin? In the heart. God also tells us:
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.’”[Luke 6;45]
This is why we ask Jesus into our hearts: “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith..” [Ephesians 3:17]
If Christ is dwelling in our hearts, and we speak from the abundance of our hearts, then we very quickly see our words will be flowing from the everlasting, kindest, purest, and sweetest well. We have all known the sting of harsh, negative, hurtful, and bitter words. But through Christ dwelling in out hearts, God will help us to only speak words that truly help, comfort, encourage, strengthen, build up, and bless – each other – and Him.
Please feel free to share a personal story on this topic in the comments section below.