18 February 2010

The Power of the Tongue

Do you know what comes out of your mouth when watching the TV?

How about at a crowded sports game thriller, in traffic at rush hour, or even under pressure in the midst of a stressful day at work? If you were to read a book on your every single spoken word in a month, I believe we would all be at the least surprised, or at the most horrified.

Proverbs 18:21
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit

When I was a child growing up a popular saying was “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words can never hurt me…” Now as a young adult with wisdom and personal experience, I believe that this saying is slowly losing its credibility.

The power of the tongue is enormous and can change the course of history. Winston Churchill’s life is proof that one person’s thoughts, words, and actions can do exactly this. Churchill was a multifaceted genius, but his command of the English language was legendary. In particular, his ability to motivate entire nations through the spoken word proved crucial in guiding the Allies to ultimate victory in World War II:

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…

Our words can bring life, joy, inspiration and encouragement. On the contrary our words can bring death, misery, coldness, hate and a lifetime of resentment. I’m sure we can all think of one person’s words who spoke to us we will remember for the rest of our life – which brought life or death. Such is the power of the tongue.

What we say has an incredible reflection of what’s in our heart - which encompasses our identity and everything we are and stand for. Some of the wisest people I have met in life and deeply respect, always seem to speak the least. Perhaps a better popular saying is “Sometimes silence is the best answer”…


Matthew 12:36-37
But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned…

Jesus says what kind of words come from our mouth is a direct indication of what’s in our heart. Everything we do and say matters to a God who created us and loves us without measure. Our influence and impact on others can bring life and death - the greatest of good and evil.

You can never know what a person is like until you know what’s in their heart, and this is best known by what comes out of their mouth. Our human sense of responsibility and guilt, right and wrong, good and evil, righteousness and sin are proof that there will be a future day of judgement where all must give an account in their lifetime (1 Cor 4:4-5, Heb 4:12).

A man is literally what he thinks and says, his character being the complete sum of all his words. Men do not attract what they want, but what they are. A person’s actions, good works and selflessness will never go beyond his character and heart. You will know a tree by its fruit – the results of the seeds that have been planted in each person’s heart.

What we really need is a cure for the human heart which is the centre behind everything we do. God promises us a new heart when we choose Christ as our Lord and Saviour. I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command (Ezekiel 36:26).

With a new heart and a new spirit within us, our words will never be the same again.

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