In Texas the summer’s heat is fierce. There are days even months when the temperatures soar to triple digits. Conditions during these times can become life threatening, especially for infants and the elderly. People are warned to drink plenty of fluids to keep themselves hydrated, and there are warnings to protect ourselves from heat exhaustion and stroke by staying indoors….we expect that. We may think that this would be the worst that could happen during the summers heat. But the worst of these times are the wildfires which destroy vegetation, livestock, and homes lost. Wildfires once set can cause total destruction and are almost impossible to put out. Someone haphazardly throws out a cigarette butt and the devastation after that is unspeakable.
The book of James warns us against the evils of the tongue, and our words against each other along with trouble they cause. Today my topic is about the power of our words and the harm they cause.
“For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature. And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna). “( James 3:2,6)
The tongue is a small member yet it causes many problems. Why don’t we think that what we say matters? We are very persuasive with it, speak life with it and even grieve the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, our tongues can be so gross, and negligent, and speak such ugliness that we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). If then our tongues have influence and can affect the Holy Spirit then what is it saying about the power it has to influence people; the effects of our tongues can be devastating.
We can bless and curse with it,
“With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness!
I don’t think there is a single human being alive or now dead who doesn’t need a word of encouragement from time to time. Why? Because encouragement builds us up and helps us to feel good about ourselves and when we feel good we think good, and do well in our walk. We believe them and take them internally, so helpful encouragement becomes a blessing for us. So then we see that the opposite is true of those words that hurt, because these words taken internally can become hazardous, they break us down and thus hinder the ones who are targeted. There are people who were told they would never amount to anything and so they have nothing inwardly which tells them otherwise; those words have caused them to lose confidence not only in themselves but in God; they are cursed.
What is a curse?
1. swearword: a swearword, obscenity, or blasphemous oath
2. evil prayer: a malevolent appeal to a supernatural being for harm to come to somebody or something, or the harm that is thought to result from this
3. source of harm: a cause of unhappiness or harm
Cussing people out, wishing evil and speaking it towards someone can cause great harm.
In the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary the curse is clear:
to execrate; by analogy to doom: – curse.
Great harm is being caused when we speak evil, gossip, and speak words with wrong motives attached.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
(Ephesians 4: 29-32)
Prayerfully we will do more to uplift and encourage and if we can’t do that then say nothing…..
Let us pray:
Father God in the name of Jesus help us to speak life to all who hear us. We pray Lord that we muzzle this member of our body called “the tongue.” Help us to think before we speak, help us to uplift and not tear down people with the words we say. We want to be an example to all people that your word is pure and life changing…we can’t do that if we don’t speak word that give life….Help us to live peaceably with all men…In Jesus name we pray and we thank you God for life. Amen.