James 3:6 (NCV) And the tongue is like a fire. It is a whole world of evil among the parts of our bodies. The tongue spreads its evil through the whole body. The tongue is set on fire by hell, and it starts a fire that influences all of life.
Words hurt. Have you ever been there? Someone chooses to use reckless words in the heat of an argument and you instantly feel the crushing blow to every fiber of your being. You feel so insignificant, so small, so cut down by the words someone else has spoken.
The words of James chapter 3 reminded me that the tongue, even though a small part of the body, can make a huge impact. Have you ever said something to someone and once the words were out, you wished you could take back? I sure have. I have carelessly used my words to hurt. I guess in the heat of an argument it’s easy to do. But just because it’s the “heat of the moment” doesn’t make it that less damaging. God’s word says “People speak the things that are in their hearts.” (Luke 6:45 NCV) YIKES!
When I let my words carelessly “run rampant” it’s a display of those things that are in my heart. DOUBLE YIKES! What words have you said lately that are not a reflection of the love of Jesus in your heart? Have your words been full of anger, jealousy, bitterness, rudeness, and gossip or have they encouraged those around you and brought glory to our Father in heaven.
I know I have set those people that are closest to me “on fire” with the words I have hastily spewed out of my mouth…and that makes me sad. The last thing I want to do is bring a paralyzing blow with my words. I want my words to be full of love and life. When people hear me speak, I want them to hear the goodness and kindness of Jesus.
Hiding God’s word in my heart and consistent prayer are two things I can do to change the contents of my heart. If I work toward replacing my thoughtless words with God’s word, I am disciplining myself to speak words of grace, truth and life.
Father, help me to hide your word in my heart so that when I speak, the words that flow will be full of love and grace. Forgive me for careless words I have spoken to others. Help me to replace “words of death” with “words of life.” Amen
Luke 6:45 (NIV) A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Proverbs 12:18 (NIV) The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 15:4 (NIV) The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.