Our words. Ouch, I’m already convicted. My husband and my friends know that I’m constantly struggling over the things that my vocal chords and mouth work together to come up with. If I’m not sticking my foot in my mouth, I’m teasing someone a little too much, or maybe I’m just complaining. Regardless, I think that I, like all of us, pay too little attention to what damage our tongues can do.
James 3:6 says, “A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”
YIKES!!! Intense! Do you think that James felt strongly about this? No, God did and does.
Friends, I can honestly say that this issue alone makes me fall on my knees in repentance to God and lets me see how utterly helpless I am without God’s loving salvation. There isn’t enough time to repeat all the ungodly, non-uplifting, mean words I have uttered. Do I have a witness?
I thought so.
Words are mentioned all throughout the Bible because God cares very much about what we say. HE CARES VERY MUCH. If he cares, then anyone who professes to love him needs to care too. I need to care. You need to care. Our words matter. Our jokes matter. The Word of God says that our words can ruin our whole life! That’s huge.
Here are a couple of other places where the Lord shows us how much weight our words carry:
“If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” James 1:26
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Eph. 4:29
God is very serious about what we say and the sad truth is we often don’t care very much at all. We read versus like this and perhaps feel convicted for a short time, but we get over it and move on to other scripture that make us feel better about who we are rather than point out the flaws that truly exist.
We have got to stop doing this, especially with something as vital as our tongues because they are merely the outer reflection of the condition of our hearts, and if are hearts are not right before God, then we need to get things right immediately. Jesus is very clear about the connection between our hearts and our words in Matthew 12:33-37:
“A tree is identified by its fruit. Make a tree good, and its fruit will be good. Make a tree bad, and its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart. And I tell you this, that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak. The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.”
Every idle word…that is scary stuff. Do something about this now and make your “Idle Word” list on judgment day that much shorter. If you aren’t using your words to encourage, I urge you to spend some time with the Lord asking him to show you what parts of your heart are dirty, and then ask him to clean them up. He will purify you and then you will be free to speak words of love and encouragement. You will have the power to let every word you speak be good and helpful. Most importantly, you will please your Father, who has given us so much and truly deserves this part of us, alongside every other part of our lives that we lay down in submission to him.
Friends, I know that this is hard. Is is very hard in my own life but the Word of God mercifully shows us that what we say is a big deal, and that we are cheating ourselves of the abundant life that Jesus came to give if we don’t pay attention to what we say. Live wisely and let God transform this crucial part of your life.