I have to admit to you that growing up as a child, I was nowhere near being a student of the bible, even though I was surrounded by what I now know were the best kind of Christians.

They were the love-filled family kind. Now with just a little bit of biblical insight and a smidgen of the Holy Spirit, I can honestly say I can see the simplicity of the truth in the scriptures I now study.

I find myself gravitating to ministers, bishops, evangelists and pastors who have dissected in sermon the power of the tongue; yes, that small but dangerously lethal missile contained in your mouth.

I know I’ve written about this before but I’m compelled by my own struggle to acknowledge how difficult and important it is to try and control that which is often times uncontrollable.

Without a biblical perspective, history alone confirms the ability of deceitful articulate oratory to entice weak men to murder, married men to stray, prideful men to war and peace-loving folk to accept the slaughter of those who don’t believe what others deem the “real”.

On a daily basis, an untethered tongue can forever sear the spirit of an innocent child, a wanting spouse, a true friend or even a caring coworker.

It is sometimes quite refreshing to contemplate how powerful and wonderful a well-intentioned thank you, a sincere I’m sorry or a genuine I believe in you can be.

I’m convinced chaos and hurt feelings are often a direct result of the devil infiltrating our mouths.

James 3:10 tells us that the tongue contains the power of both life and death.

Having been the scarred victim of ill-intended vocalized criticism and having verbally killed the spirit of many people I hold dear; I know firsthand that James was right.

I have been trying to correct this human flaw by consciously being outspoken in my remarks to others; verbally uplifting if you will.

I’d like to think of myself as a possible vessel of the living God before I speak by simply recognizing that man was made in God’s image and cursing any man is tantamount to cursing God.

Now that’s a mouth full. But as we all know; it is very difficult to put God in your thoughts before the words come out of your mouth.

Could it be that James 1:26 is one of the keys to understanding this? “If you think you are being religious but can’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself and everything you do is useless.”

Compare the words of Christ to any former or current demagogue and I assure you that Jesus’ words of love will simply and eloquently repulse gossip, rumor and innuendo, narcissism and maybe even ignorance in some cases.

They (Jesus’ words) provide a mechanism by which we should listen to what is being said to us by others, particularly those who are closest to us.

It is impossible to love God without loving Jesus as the Word of God. Just by saying so confirms the truth and the spoken truth will set you free.

If not, God centered words can be misinterpreted and like misguided missiles, hit the wrong target. That’s the intent of Satan. Can you spell Babylon?

Proverbs 12:14 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:22, “The Lord detests lying lips but He delights in ones who are truthful.”

Think before you speak. Speak from the heart and not the mind. Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his lips guides his life. But he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

How many times have you been misunderstood in the last few days? At home? At work? In church? On Zoom?

How often have you started out trying to help somebody and ended up making that person feel put upon because you used the wrong words?

Or, the words you used to uplift were received as major downers? So, I beg you not to misunderstand me what I’m saying right now. May God bless you and your tongue.

May He bless and keep you always.

(Photo: James A. Washington)

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