Tuesday, December 29, 2009

sticks and stones.

inspiration: Ephesians 4:29

We've all heard the expressions:
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." or
"I'm rubber, you're glue…", well you know the rest.

But the truth is. Words hurt.
Insults. Gossip. Slander.
No matter how you spin it, they're painful. Not to mention, the Bible warns us to keep tabs on our tongues.

"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." --Ephesians 4:29

"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." --Proverbs 12:18

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." --Proverbs 15:1

"Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down." --Proverbs 26:20

We must control our words and control our tongues. What kind of image are we creating when we praise our God on Sunday, but we're cursing and slandering and gossiping Monday through Saturday?
It's sometimes hard to reign in our words when we're particularly angry or hurt by someone's actions or words, but we must show restraint and patience (I know, it's hard!) Patience certainly is not a virtue of mine. But when we practice patience, we learn also to control our tongues. The whole concept of "thinking before speaking" is strengthened.

"All kinds of animals, bird, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." --James 3:7-12

So with your words, are you producing fresh water or salt water? I certainly make a conscious effort to make sure everything I say reflects a heart of God. Sometimes, those bitter words come out, but I hope to reign in the evil tongue and instead produce "fresh water" words of praise for my God! :) We're called not to speak badly or harshly of our brothers and sisters in Christ, but to build them up and comfort them. Words are powerful: Use them for good :)

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