Taming The Tongue
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.”
Have you ever thought how harmful our words can be? We can destroy people’s lives with our words. We can damage their reputations by our slanderous remarks. We cannot take back words spoken with the intention to harm someone or their reputations. During the past several years I have written many devotions regarding the value of taming our tongues, and not let our words and remarks hurt and damage others. It is so easy to become angered when someone does something to harm us or humiliate us. My son preached a message recently about taming the tongue, and the damage it could cause in the lives of people. As I have though about this over these few weeks, I began to read several scriptures about how our tongue can cause hurt, bitterness and harm others when we spread gossip or slanderous remarks about others. During my study of how our tongue can hurt, I found a nineteenth-century folktale that tells about a man who went around town slandering one of the outstanding wise men in his town. He had told lies about him in an attempt to undermine the good work he was doing. After becoming a Christian and receiving Jesus in his heart, he went to the man who he had lied about and asked forgiveness. The wise man, realized that this man had not realized the effect of what these lies had done, told him that he would forgive him on one condition: that he go home, and take a feather pillow; cut it up, and scatter the feathers to the wind. After he had done this, he should then return to the wise man’s house. The man rushed home and quickly cut up the pillow, scattering the feathers, and returned to the wise man’s house, and asked if he was now forgiven. The wise man then said “just one more thing, go and gather up all the feathers.” The man replied, “but that’s impossible, the wind has already scattered them.” The wise man said “precisely, and though you may truly wish to correct the evil you have done, it is as impossible to repair the damage done by your words as it is to recover the feathers. Your words are out there in the marketplace, spreading hate, even as we speak.” This tale is so true as once we speak words that hurt someone we can never take back or reverse what we say. People can recover from a physical injury, but many times our words, spoken with an attempt to harm someone, can last a lifetime. We must be careful as our words come from our hearts, and reveal our true self. Our hearts need to be right with God and the words we speak should be ones that God approves of.
Pastor Robert William Brock My Daily Devotional Volume Two