by Jeremy A. Brown
As a kid we had this saying, “STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES, BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT!” Haa….we quickly learned that is the furthest statement from the truth we have ever heard. In many cases, most of us would rather have a physical bruise that heals than an emotional bruise caused by the tongue and lips of another human being crushing our spirit. An emotional bruise can cause some unforgettable damage. The Bible even states that a perverse tongue crushes the spirit (Proverbs 15:4). We live in a world where a tweet, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media messages can send the world into a tailspin. It seems that not only are average people unable to tame their tongues, but even world leader’s lack the ability to control their tongues. Can this weapon be controlled by any man? What does the Bible say?!
God says we praise Him with the same lips that we use to curse other men that are made in the likeness of God (James 3:9-10). We have to remember, when we curse and crush the spirits of other men/women we are attacking other human beings who are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). I understand that it is a daily struggle to maintain this attitude toward your fellow men/women in a society where there is so much pent-up anger. In our society today you are odd if you are not angry about something. Just stop when that bout of anger hits you after that car cuts you off during rush hour traffic. Ask yourself before you get so worked up: Is it truly worth all of the conflict that will happen if you escalate things to the next level?! We should guard our mouths against speaking evil/malicious words to our fellow brethren. God plainly states it will help us to avoid calamity (Proverbs 21:23). You don’t have to go any further than your daily news or social media to see how the tongue leads to the following situations such as the calamities of road rage, physical assaults, mass shootings, etc., caused by another human being using his/her tongue to crush another human being’s spirit.
God says we should work our hardest to keep our tongue from deceitful speech and from gushing evil words like the wicked (1 Peter 3:10; Proverbs 15:28). It is not what goes in our mouth that ruins us; it is what we allow to come out of this mouth that does the most damage (Matthew 15:11). Only a reliance on God can help us to tame our perverse lips and tongue in a world that has completely let their tongues run wild. We should pray that God will put a guard over our mouths, so we can keep watch over what we say to each other (Psalm 141:3). Lastly, we must remember to build up others and not to tear others down as is common in our world today (Ephesians 4:29). All of us, including myself, have to work on this daily and realize we can tame this powerful weapon with the help of God.