The wise man wrote, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Prov. 18:21) Solomon meant that our words have both the power to heal and to destroy.
The apostle Paul stressed that we should use our tongues exclusively to help or encourage others. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Eph. 4:29)
Conversely, James warned us against using our tongues to hurt, demean or degrade others. “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law” (James 4:11).
What can we do to keep from sinning with our tongues? It will help if we AVOID beginning any sentence with the following:
- “Did you hear the latest about so and so?”
- “I was just told that so and so…”
- “Isn’t it terrible that so and so…”
- “Just between us, so and so…”
- “I don’t know for certain, but I understand that so and so…”
- “I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but so and so…”
- “Rumor has it that so and so…”
- “I would never have dreamed that so and so…”
May we use our tongues to build up, never to tear down. Otherwise we may be in for an unpleasant surprise at the judgment. "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12:37).
Jesus, always Jesus!