‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.’ Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)
I sometimes speak before I think. It is something I fight against, and most of the time, I win. But there are times, and entire days, where I find this action quite challenging. I would just about bet you do too!
Reality is this…the tongue can kill. Maybe not physically, but if just the right things are said, in just the right way, a person’s entire view of him or her self may be drastically altered. The motivation that guides them through life day by day may be damaged. Dreams may be abandoned. God Himself might be cast away, out of a person’s life, simply because of feelings of unworthiness. And none of this has anything whatsoever to do with God.
The enemy is the true culprit. It is not the person who speaks the words. That person is simply the instrument, the tool he uses to do the murder. We must always be mindful of this. We do not necessarily have to set out to do evil; he will use us to do it if we are not armed against him. We can unwittingly be the method of destruction to a soul. When this happens, we cease to be of use in God’s plans for His kingdom. But Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. This does not describe your neighbor, your co-worker, your friend, or even your spouse. This describes the evilness of our enemy.
But he does not have the final word in this ongoing battle. God does. And His words are the words we should be speaking to others, to uplift, to edify, to encourage. Even when we chastise a person we should do it in a caring, gentle manner. Not to destroy, but to build up. Not to hurt, but to nurture. And always with love.
When I find myself in this situation, I quickly ask the Holy Spirit to guard my tongue, to filter my words. And He does it. That is why He is living within us, to help us in these times. I will stop, and think, and then the words I choose to speak will be the correct ones. If I do not do this, if I just blurt them out, the words may be harmful. And not only will they hurt the person or persons I am speaking to, they dishonor my Lord, and damage my own testimony. We must be intentional, and call on the Holy Spirit to guide us. He is faithful to do so.
Take time this week to read the entire passage in Ephesians 6: 10-20. Learn for yourself just who it is you are fighting against, and how to fend off his attacks. Putting on the full armor of God every single day helps us control the mayhem the enemy would cause through us. And this is Our Hope; He will take us to victory in all things. Arm yourself for battle, dear one, and prepare for the war to be won!
‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.’ Psalm 19:14 (KJV)