Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Words Can Hurt or Heal

Chuckle: Teacher: "Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?" Donald: "H I J K L M N O." Teacher: "What do you mean?" Donald: "Yesterday you said it's H to O."
Quote: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” --Mother Teresa

"We all make mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way" (James 3:2 NLT). We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says (the words he uses), he is a perfect (Mature) man, able to keep his whole body in check" (James 3:2 NIV).
Words from our mouths can be the most encouraging, comforting, and edifying ministry tools we have. However, if uncontrolled, our mouths can spew forth the most hurtful and destructive utterances imaginable. Some examples of an untamed tongue include gossiping, putting others down, bragging, manipulating, false teaching, exaggerating, complaining, flattering, and lying. What we say, and how we say it, is an accurate measure of our spiritual maturity as Christians.
A young man was stocking groceries and a women asked him for half a head of lettuce. He said he'd check to see if he could cut a head of lettuce. He went to the back to his supervisor, not realizing the lady was following him. He said: "there's an old bag out there who wants to buy half a head of lettuce" -- he turned and saw her behind him and quickly said: "and this fine lady wants to buy the other half."
How many times have you said unkind words to someone, realized too late what you had done, and tried to undo the damage with something like: "I didn't mean it," or "that's just not like me," I don't normally talk that way." Unfortunately, words once said can never be unsaid. James calls our attention to the destructive power of our words. He says we can tame all kinds of animals, but "no man can tame the tongue" (James 3:7).
Our words control our lives if we don't control our words. If you don't like the way your life is going, then change your words -- because your words have so much to do with how you live your life. The tongue is like a small piece of metal in a horses mouth, the bit, which controls this massive, swift, and powerful animal and even the smallest of riders can control him. James also compares the tongue to the rudder of a ship. Even the most massive of ships are controlled by a relatively small rudder. We should be careful about what we say because our lives will go the way of our words.
A horse does not control the bit in its mouth - the rider does. The ship does not control the rudder, the pilot does. And Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, must help us master our tongues if they are to be mastered. We cannot do it alone. The Bible says the tongue is an evil, unruly, and corrupting organ. We must have God's power to harness the tongue for good. Just as the horse may fight the bit and the ship fights the rudder both can be controlled because the master is in control.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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