“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Proverbs 18:21 NKJV
When I was young, I was frequently bullied. I was a big, sensitive, smart kid and an easy target. For the longest time I didn’t fight back. I would simply avoid others and try and weather the storms the best I could.
There came a time when I began to discover the power of the tongue. From an early age, I had been fascinated with words and their power. I was an avid reader and thoroughly enjoyed books where I could escape into the story. I also learned the power of those same words used as a weapon.
In my neighborhood, we played the dozens. We belittled each other’s mothers with creativity. The goal was to make the other person mad to the point of wanting to fight. As I grew older, I learned to belittle people. Those of us who have been hurt become quite expert at hurting others. I also had an uncanny ability to see into people and find their weaknesses. Being a person from an abusive background, I was hyper vigilant and had a very sensitive radar, which I used to scan people to keep myself safe. I knew where to target.
My tongue was like a scalpel as I cut deep and accurately, causing as much pain as possible. I used my weapon with abandon as I had many grudges from a history of taking the abuse from others.
With my words I would say things that would cause the greatest damage and cause the deepest hurt. My tongue had become a deadly weapon. For a time I had no filter. My thoughts became bullets fired from my mouth with lethal accuracy.
When Jesus entered my life, everything began to change as the Holy Spirit began to reign me in. God began to foster a gift of encouragement in me. The uncanny ability to see into people was taken by the Lord and souped up by the Holy Spirit to become a blessing for the edification of the saints.
I have come to fully understand the impact of my words on the hearts of others. I desire nothing more than to encourage those around me. Seeing into others with empathy has laid my heart bare, as I can feel the pain. I weep for others, I am grieved when others grieve and I use my words to comfort.
Most of all, I don’t think out loud in regard to others. Instead I take my concerns to the Lord. I pray for others instead of using my words as a bludgeon. I also pray over my communications with people who rub me the wrong way. So many times in the past, I have “flown off the handle “ and said things I could not take back. Oh, for a time machine.
I have the reality of going through this quarantine alone. This is difficult in some ways, but a blessing in others. I don’t have to worry about offending myself. There are many families pressed into a day to day existence with no opportunity to escape. Words are going to fly. We are under pressure.
Choose this day to love. The season of pressure is testing relationships like never before. Love guides the tongue. One of the greatest miracles is the taming of my tongue. Know that the Lord can tame yours.
As I have said time and time again, we believers have a golden opportunity to be the Church of Jesus Christ and proclaim the Gospel at a dark time. We must watch our words. These are trying times, where people are stressed and looking for answers. A kind word travels far.
The Holy Spirit control of my tongue has helped me to see the best in people with discernment. I see the human inside, the open heart that hungers for the same love that I have. I see connections rather than things that divide. I am finding that this is especially helpful right now. My kindness provides room for the presentation of the Gospel message. There is life in the tongue.
Let God use your tongue to bring life to those around you. So many are in pain today and this situation is far from over. Speak kind words to that stocker working at the market to keep food on the shelves. Don’t bludgeon him or her with angry words because your favorite item is not there. Know a medical worker, heap blessings on them because they are on the front lines.
Speak love today!
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