Power of the tongue

27 January 2014

One of the most difficult things to control is the tongue. Careless and harmful words easily spring out from the tongue if I am not careful. It is easy for me to think that careless words do not do any real damage, but it could actually do more harm than i perceive. I found that even if wrong words i spoke did not harm anyone, it ends up stirring up emotions and negative feelings in me. For example, if i’m angry and i say something in anger because i am angry, i get even more angry – or sometimes i may be talking about a situation or circumstance in a judgmental way and before i know it, negative sentiments that may seem out of proportion are evoked and created.

All of this harms my spiritual connection with God. I find it so much harder to pray and hear God when i had just engaged in meaningless banter or negative talk. And i realised that i actually sometimes need to ask for God’s forgiveness and restoration before i can begin to pray meaningfully to Him.

The bible in fact is full of verses telling me to keep hold of my tongue and watch my speech. Whether i sometimes “innocently” have a slip of the tongue or intentionally engage in crude talk – spoken words carry power – to harm and destroy or to bless and build up.

Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

1 Peter 3:10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Matthew 12:33-37 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

James 3:10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Matthew 15:11 It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

Father, forgive my careless words and restore my relationship with You again. Help me to keep close watch and have heightened sensitivity to the words i choose to speak and when i should choose to be quiet. Let me lay any and all frustrations, anger or hurt at your feet and quench and extinguish my impulse to speak evil.

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