Two years ago, two Russian criminals placed an explosive device at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and walked away. When some of the runners completed their race, the device exploded and several runners were gravely injured. A simple device (pancake pressure cooker), harmless to look at, yet, had such great power and caused so much chaos. A quiet race with cheers turned quickly into loud shrills and tears. Smoke loomed over the finish line. Nothing was as it should be.
You know what is like an explosive device? Our tongue. If we don’t manage it, or place it in in the wrong place, our tongue can cause an explosion of sorts. Little pieces of lies or hurt will spritz everywhere we go when we use our tongue as a weapon of mass destruction instead of using it to encourage and build up.
The Bible gives us the greatest advice on what to do with the tongue he gave us:
Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue, keeps himself out of trouble”. What does the word “keep” mean in this verse? Keep QUIET!
Ephesians 4:29 “ Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”. Is every word you give a gift to the person hearing it, or is it hurtful?
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 Are your words like sword thrusts? Do you break each others heart with your words? Are you accountable for what you say to others? Do your words reflect what actually is in your heart?
“To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:2)” The book of Titus explains what are words should consist of. This is not easy to do as, naturally, we have a habit of starting fights, losing gentleness, spewing evil, and being discourteous. Are your words gentle? Are you gentle? Are you approachable? We are to use our tongue to boast others, Christ, but never ourselves. This is unlike anything we learn in today’s marketplace of ideas.
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)” Hurtful words may be thrown our way. Always be ready for a response to critical people. Thank them for their opinion and be gracious to those who are not gracious to you. Anyone can do “evil for evil”. An unbridled tongue is easily misguided. A person with love and control will speak when they can do so in a loving manner.
How about you? Are you kind to others in school, the classroom, the bus, your sister, your parents? Do you use your tongue like a swinging sword meaning do you hurt people by saying cutting or ugly words? Do you try only to say things that are kind to others? If you have this gift, you are so valuable because this is very hard to do. Work very hard to keep your words clean and kind to all those around you. God bless us all as we try to be a testimony of Him with our tongues. May he keep our tongues from causing chaos.