The tongue has incredible power. When James wrote about it, he said that the tongue is the spark that ignites a forest fire or the rudder that steers a large ship. He said that humans can subdue and control everything—except the tongue (James 3:1-12).
We don’t often realize the deadly power lurking behind our words.
In a relationship, a harsh word can be devastating and cause nearly indescribable heartache.
In a doctor’s office or pharmacy, a misplaced word becomes a medical error that maims or kills instead of heals.
In society, an untrue word repeated over and over again can become the basis of belief and action that launches out into all sorts of wickedness.
In a church, words of gossip can divide and totally obstruct the work of God.
In an office, words of complaint and negativity can sap productivity and make everyone miserable along the way.
In the military, secret words repeated in front of the enemy cause defeat with loss of life.
Words are more powerful now than they have ever been. Today they can spread to the whole world with nothing more than a click of a button. We don’t often think about the responsibility that comes with the “forward” button on our emails, but these words are just as important as the words that we say or write.
Jesus said, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23).