“There is nothing about a man or in him which can do greater and more extensive good or harm in spiritual or in secular matters than the tongue, although it is the smallest and weakest of his members,”
I think we’ve all been there, that moment when the tongue translates the messages from the brain to the mouth before we choose to take the opportunity to stop them. Sometimes this can cause great harm, especially if its impulse comes from anger or disappointment. Words can be the most harmful when we neglect the wisdom of God to bridle the wicked tongue, “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Peter 3:10).
To the contrary, the tongue can be used for very useful purposes also, to give words of kindness and encouragement, to relay a positive message or to convey Good News. Our tongues can be “A restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8) or an instrument of healing (Proverbs 12:18).
Many a “religious” person has used their tongue in ways that do more harm than good. To God this use of the tongue is useless, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26).
Instead, God would have His people speak with gentleness powered by genuine love, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).
Much of God’s Word regards the use of the tongue because it carries so much power despite its diminished stature. The freedom we have been given to use it carries with it great responsibilities, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4).
Today, think of what kind words you might share with a neighbor to encourage them and build them up. Pray to God for opportunity to help someone going through a rough patch in life with kind and encouraging words.
Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive us for those times we have spoken before thinking. Help us to only to use our tongues is such ways that give glory to you. Amen.