"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:21
We all go through life at some point unknowingly speaking life and death to people close to us. "You are gonna catch the death of you," was one I heard a lot growing up. Or something like "Why are going to go to that school? They can't do anything for you." Another one that I heard which was so harmless you would think it couldn't affect a child, "Don't sing! Keep your day job!" That one is still affecting me. I have heard I have a great voice but never believed it because of the damage done early on. No fault of the one delivering one of the many fatal blows to my esteem.
As a child, I was tall and lanky. I heard everything from "Your neck has funny rings around it," to a blatant "you are ugly." I wish I could make words ring out in echo like on the movies! That's how it sounded to me. Even my "friends" made fun of me from time to time in what we used to call "bag sessions" or "cut downs." I hope I didn't just give my age away!
In the Bible, Scripture speak about how much power the tongue has (Proverbs and Isaiah) and then James 3 speaks about taming this same tongue. James breaks the tongue down to a simple muscle that has so much power. How can so much power be in this one small seemingly helpless muscle? We use it to voice our opinions, taste our food and drinks and even to stick it out at people. But how can this small forgotten muscle be so powerful? Let me help you understand. The tongue, James likens to a rudder in a ship. As small as this rudder is, it directs where the ship will go. So goes it with the tongue. It is a "small member" with big power. Before those of us who are in Christ come to Him and surrender, we are also directed by our tongues. We said what we felt needed to be said and never "held our tongue." We lashed out at the cashier that didn't greet us or help us to our likings. We tore down strangers who might have been having a bad day and lashed out at us. And our children, we really let them have "tongue lashings" any time we were in a bad mood, when they made us mad; some of us even cussed them out. What a weapon of choice we used!
We lie with our tongue; we make deceiving statements to get things to go our way. We tear down sisters who are not as eloquent or able to dress as Christ would have them because they do not know. We make plans that are not pleasing to God all with this small muscle! I was no different! Mine was a weapon of choice indeed! In my teen years I could put a grown, retired sailor to shame. I carried this and other tricks in my tongue for years! I could tear a person down faster that a Maserati reaches 100!! If I wanted, I could make a grown man cry within minutes of me speaking to him. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am by no means bragging! I have repented and am forgiven for the many things I did/ and slip up and do. I can remember a time when I wrote a rap about a young girl in my school that was less than honorable to her. I'm not sure if she ever heard it, it was pretty popular, but if she did... I apologize.
One of my many performances my tongue made was lying. I would lie about anything I thought was conceivable! If I dint think you could see my cars color was red, I would tell you it was orange to fit in. I was famous for making up stories and coloring the truth to get attention for years, but mysteriously never got caught up in the web of lies, that is until God saw fit for me to be firmly caught in it. There I sat, smack dab in the middle of this huge web waiting to be devoured by the enemy I didn’t really think existed.
I am free from this bondage of my tongue now! It no longer rules me; Holy Spirit rules it for me! I am free of it! And you can be too! Surrendering to Christ totally means you give Him reign over all of you, including your tongue. Watch what you say to others or watch it return to you! Season your speech with (good) salt and watch goodness flow back to you!
Father God, thank You for delivering from this bondage muscle! Thank You for convicting me every time it tries to take control again and delivering me when I resist the devil! Thank You for life filling words that you give to me! I pray that I will always bring about good fruit from my mouth to Your children! In Jesus name Amen!
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" Phil 4:8