Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
Our words have the ability to wound, scar, maim and overwhelmingly knock someone down - at times for good. It also have the ability to bring life to things, the power to lift people up, turn someone's day completely around for the better. Sometimes all it takes is just one kind, caring word to turn someone who is so broken, lost and alone into someone who knows there is one person who cares.
Psalm 52:2 "You practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor."
Now, I'm pretty sure most people do not want to have this verse thrown out in reference to themselves. Our words wound. Our words have the ability to bring death to people. Sometimes even the physical death, but most often the emotional death that cruel words spoken can bring. It kills the person inside, turns them into people who lose hope, lost the faith in themselves, even their faith in God can be ripped from them by one wrong word, one wrong phrase.
Proverbs 15:4 "The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but the perverse tongue crushes the spirit."
Being human, we are folly. We are inherently evil. Through Jesus Christ this is changed. Our minds still can be led where the devil may take it but we don't have to let it happen. YOU control your thoughts. YOU control your words. Not him. See, he gets into our heads, makes us see things in ways that are flawed, not true. He makes us hear things spoken in ways that are not how they were intended or he makes our imaginations take over, running full-tilt straight into sin. WE control US.
Proverbs 31:26 "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." This applies to men as well, of course. Wisdom aka the heart of God should be in us, leading us down the righteous path. I would much rather have this verse spoken about me.
Isaiah 50:4 "The sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He waken me, morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed."
Each morning when we wake, if we listen, even with half an ear, we can hear the instruction from God. He reminds us of the way we are to live, what our purpose for the day is. Let that purpose be to be blessings to others and not a burden.
James 1:26 "Those who consider themselves righteous and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless."
Where there is evil in the heart, so the tongue spews forth the folly. Guard your words. Teach your children, grandchildren to guard their words, as well as their hearts. One seemingly innocent though wrong word can change things so completely that relationships cannot be mended, hearts cannot be fixed.
One of the videos on YouTube says about the power of the words. It is an object lesson for children, on the power of the tongue. My favorite part is when the woman has her children squeeze a little toothpaste from the tube and asks them to put it back in. You can't put it back in once it's been squeezed out. (I'm sure there is a way to do so with suction or something, but if that is your focus, you're missing the point.) Words cannot be taken back. Once spoken, they are forever engrained upon someone, and I hope that it is good.
A friend on Facebook had a post about her daughter being called chubby by a little child. This breaks my heart. As a mother, I feel the pain she feels. That is HER flesh and blood that this word was engrained on. That's a memory that I pray her daughter will not keep. Words can be so cruel, intentionally or not. Words are just words though. We have the power to control the way they are used. We have the power to control the way we respond to those words, the power to close your eyes and imagine those words are just drops on a duck's back, sliding off into a puddle. I realize that this is not easy to do.
Personally, it has taken me a long time to be able to let words slide, from certain people. Usually those who we care about the most, seem to hurt us the most. Some words are easy to let slide off where other words just stick like feathers to tar. Even when the words that are spoken aren't meant to hurt, they can still wound.
This is the time where you need to pray. Pray for the speaker and pray for yourself. Pray that you will take the words in the way they are meant and not in the way they are heard. Our ears can deceive us. Our minds can play tricks on us, causing us to hear things that are so far from the way they were meant to be taken, that you need an international flight just to get to them.
Guard your tongues. Guard your hearts because what fills your heart, fills your mouth to overflowing. I pray that your heart is filled with the Holy Spirit and it's the heart like God that you have. James 3:5 says about the tongue being a small part of the body. For something so small, it is more powerful than any other body part. Imagine that. A small part that has the power to bring life or death to people.
Whatever is spoken, whatever attitude it is spoken with, if you say it in front of your children, they will hear it. Although they only have two little ears, it seems as if their entire bodies are covered with nothing but ears. Our children will say what we say, how we say, in the ways that we say it. If you lash out at someone for whatever reason, they will repeat it to a T. If you use harsh, cruel words, your children will use harsh and cruel words.
Let's say you miscommunicate with someone. Something you intended for good has come out wrong and taken the wrong way. Once spoken, you can't take those words back. Even if you mean to compliment, it can be taken out of context, taken in the opposite way you intend for it to be taken. We can't take it back. Before you open your mouth to utter one word, stop and think. Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Let Him guide your words. Even a quiet person can be thought as foolish until he opens his mouth and removes all doubt.
T.O.N.G.U.E. can either be:
I'll leave you with this though.
Job 33:2 "I am about to open my mouth, the words are on the tip of my tongue..."
What will pour from your mouth once it is opened?
Will it be Life, or Death?
God's blessings to you,