Thursday, July 6, 2017

Words Can Destroy

Chuckle: TEACHER: "Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago." WINNIE: "Me!"
Quote: "Blessed are they who have nothing to say and cannot be persuaded to say it." --James Russell Lowell

"Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell" (James 3:5b-6 NIV).
Our tongues have the power to destroy us -- like one little spark can ignite a raging forest fire that can destroy thousands of acres of vegetation and untold wildlife. You may have read about what happened in Chicago on October 8, 1871, at 9:00 o'clock, when Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern which started a fire that burned for two days. 7,000 buildings were burned to the ground and 250 people lost their lives. One little flame started it all. . . .
A cigarette thrown from a car window can destroy thousands of acres of property and vegetation. Oh, the power of one little spark. Our tongues are like that -- so small but with so much potential for destruction. Harsh words destroy marriages; break hearts; break people's wills; keep people from success; and completely dash people's hopes and dreams. The old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me," just isn't true. Words can hurt terribly.
Through James, God is saying very clearly to you and me, if we are children of God, enough is enough! We must, by the power of the Holy Spirit, stop the criticism; the slander; the gossip -- hurting people by what we say. We must stop word battles between husbands and wives -- parents and children. We must just shut our mouths unless we have something helpful to say.
Uncontrolled words destroy families, churches, work relationships, and friendships. Some of us are verbal arsonists. We burn everybody with our tongues. In the home, verbal abuse can be as devastating as physical abuse. It's often too late to say: "I didn't mean it," or "I'm sorry." The damage has already been done. We can destroy our children by such words as, "You can't do anything right," or, "You'll never amount to anything." They grow up believing what you said.
We must get control of our tongues. James says the tongue "is itself set on fire by hell." The Bible also says "death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21). "It's a restless evil, full of deadly poison" (James 3:8). God holds us responsible for what we say. James says if we don't control our tongues, we're not mature/grown-up Christians. Remember, James said in verse 2 that if we control what we say, we are mature and able to keep the rest of our bodies in check.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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