Taming the Tongue

” ‘For by your words you will be
justified, and by your words you will be condemned’ ” ( Matt. 12:37, NKJV) .

Words hold tremendous power. “A
word fitly spoken” ( Prov. 25:11 ) –
praise, poetry, stories can shape lives in profound ways. What we say may linger for days or even years.

Children, for example, absorb words like sponges. That’s why
they soon speak fluently whatever language they grow up hearing. It’s also why the messages they hear about themselves may foreshadow their future success or failure. For better or worse, the
communication style of parents is replicated and amplified in their children.

The written word is powerful, too, and even more lasting. Most powerful of all is God’s Word.
Consider: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” ( Ps. 119:105 ) ; and “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” ( Ps. 119:11 ) . Jesus directed the
attention of the disciples away from temporal blessings to something much more vital: “The
words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” ( John 6:63 ) .

Words can soothe and reassure or poison and contaminate. How often have you said something
you wished you could take back?

James 3:1-12 ; Deut. 6:6-7 ; Luke 9:51-56 ; Prov. 16:27 ; Matt.
7:16-18 .

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