When King David wrote (Psalm 42:5), “Why so downcast, O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me?” to whom was he speaking?
He was talking to himself, of course. What kind of words do YOUR ears hear your mouth saying? Blessings or cursings?
Proverbs 6:2 in the Amplified Bible says, “You are snared with the words of your lips, you are caught by the speech of your mouth.”
Proverbs 18:21 reminds us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Many people speak negative things about themselves and others – that which will not line-up with what God says about them in Scripture – and, in so doing, are aligning themselves with the lies Satan says about things. There are two voices at God’s throne: that of Jesus Christ and that of Satan. More often than not, people will say about others that which can only be heard from the mouth of the Accuser of the Brethren.
In counseling, I am often told how those being counseled feel as if they’re walking under a dark cloud. As we speak, they begin to realize how they’ve sabotaged their own lives with their own lips, cursing themselves and their circumstances. Perhaps it all started as a result of poor choice of words used by parents, teachers, classmates and coaches.
Ephesians 4:29 tells us to, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
James 1:19 gives us some great advice: “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
Why so much emphasis on our words? James 3:5-9 reminds us just how dangerous our words can be: “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.”
As we go about our Great Commission, we must be careful how we wield that weapon we refer to as the tongue. Not only are others watching and listening, but we can severely damage another by “Scripture-whipping” them.
Too often, the Church squanders its opportunities for Kingdom advancement by our poor choice of words. Practice at home, at work, and make a conscious effort around family and friends and see if you don’t actually improve in the handling of your words!
I’ve got a word from God for many who are reading this now: “REPENT!” That means to change one’s mind. Let’s start thinking about how we’ve used our words. Have they destroyed or built-up others?
Michael Tummillo is a Workplace Chaplain, Founder of The Church @ Work (TCAW). He is an author, a speaker, a Christian whose mission is to Train and Equip the Body of Christ worldwide via online ministry.