We have so much power it’s frightening. We have the ability to destroy human lives, minds, even countries without even physically touching them.
In the same manner, we can also cure lives, replenish souls, even rebuild nations without lifting a finger. We hold more power, more life, and more venom than we should be able to have at times.
And we do this all with the power of muscle. One muscle: the tongue.
Wars have raged on and are still raging on because of the tongue. Mass amounts of people have been murdered based upon rumors or prideful statements of arrogance or power struggles, all set in motion by the venomous tongue.
Fear and hatred have ruled many the plight of cultures based upon what the tongue has deemed appropriate.
But let’s break this down to a more personal level. Your tongue has more power than you may even realize. You have the power to destroy or build up someone today, so which is it going to be?
You have the choice to snap at your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, child, friend, loved one because you had a bad day. You can justify it away as just that; a bad day, a rough patch in life, they deserved it, whatever.
But you knew you held the power in that moment. Why? Because they let you… They trusted you when they let their guard down and let you into their lives.
You lashed out at them, yelled at them, blamed them for your day or for how stupid they are or how insensitive they were being to your needs. But I’m not talking about that rare moment where you let your emotions come out and you have to come back and apologize. No, I’m talking about the patterns you may have started, the fire that’s on your lips.
You’ve found yourself always yelling at your kids, always yelling at your spouse, always short with your friends, just like your answers or your tolerance for people. But you come back later like nothing’s wrong or like they need to suck it up, but you’ve already laid a dangerous foundation below.
You’ve begun corroding your relationships. They let you in their lives, their hearts, their family because they trusted you, cared for you, so they respected you enough to tolerate your tantrums. But you’re breathing fire, burning everyone around you.
You may have spouted off because of the power you got because of it. They wouldn’t let a stranger they didn’t respect talk to them like that, so therefore they must respect you enough to let you throw that tantrum, right? They put up with you because “that’s just how I am! Deal with it!”
But again, on the surface, it starts with leaving you alone or changing the subject, but over time it grows into the silent treatment, then to speaking up, then to shouting, to loss of respect, to…well you can take it as far as you want until it’s too late for repair.
James 3:6 says, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body…”
Your tongue has the amazing ability to bring healing and calm and trust. It can bring encouragement that mends broken relationships. You can speak life into those you love as well. When you speak life, life flows back through you. You become the source of strength and hope that so many people seek on an earthly level. You actually GAIN respect and power because you spoke with compassion and kindness, even when it was tough love.
Your words now are shaping the lives of your children, your relationships, your friendships, your marriage, everything. Your tongue can restore what was once broken or build up what was once neglected. It can grant you followers or create you enemies.
The tongue is also a vessel that knows when it needs to lay silent and when it needs to speak out. Psalm 15:3-4 says,
“Lord who may dwell on Your holy mountain? …the one whose tongue utters no slander…who casts no slur on others…honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind.”
Even when it hurts, you need to keep an oath and honor others, speaking no slander, honoring God in your speech. We must not change our mind and be liars, founded upon sand in our integrity, but instead upon the rock of trust and Godly principles and oaths, which reflect him in all we do, regardless of how tough it is.
We hold so much power with 1 muscle the Bible compares to a ship rudder, so small controlling such a huge vessel with a simple flick.
So what are you going to do today? Are you going to invest in your relationships, your integrity, the lives of those around you, and command respect because of the wisdom and courtesy you’ve given your thoughts and others before you speak?
Or will you let your tongue be a fire, corrupting everything and everyone around you? Will you stomp around your house dictating the mood of your home, while your family and friends’ respect for you slowly corrodes away?
It’s your choice today. Families, marriages, friendships, and nations have been destroyed because of the power of the tongue. Will you let it destroy everything you love, including yourself? Or will it bring honor and respect to those who seek your leadership, love, and wisdom?