Power in the Tongue

James 3:1-12: One of the greatest weapons used against man is not made of metal. You don’t put bullets into it, and yet it can be deadly. James describes the most deadly weapon like this.
James 3:5 “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.”
Have you experience the wrath of a unkept tongue? We call it many things, bullying, slander, lying, deceit, but when it all boils down to it the tongue is a weapon that can inflict blows that last a lifetime. A parent carelessly says,”You are a bother.” “You are so lazy you will never amount to much.” Or maybe the pain came from someone at school “You are weird. Nobody wants to be your friend.” Or may the culprit was a coworker who was jealous or had a vendetta and they told you that you were “a liability to the company.” Maybe they told you that you were a “bad realtor and did not deserve the money you made.” If your self esteem is healthy you may hear these things and just shake it off. But under the surface many who are not as healthy take each of those bullets and they can wound very deeply. Some people never get over the hurt and they see themselves by the words that were thrown at them. Even worse, the offender may not have thought a thing about it from the time the words left their mouth and yet the wounded has allowed the wound to fester. The end result is a life burned by the tongue that set a blaze that has never been extinguished.
AND YET the tongue can also bring life. It can speak words of encouragement and life. It can speak to a wounded soul and refute the negative and speak positive until the wounded one questions the validity of the negative. Our words can bring great life and enthusiasm into lives of people who are longing for someone to see them and acknowledge their worth. The question we must ask ourselves is are we using our tongue as a life giver or life taker? We have the gift of sharing life. May we all be mindful today of what come out of our mouth and be a blessing to all we speak to.