August 6, 2014
You are a Powerful Force
Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21, NIV 1982 ed.).
Friend to Friend
I’ve always been amazed at the power restrained in a tiny atom too small to be seen by the naked eye. Fission, (splitting the tiny nucleus of an atom), or fusion, (joining nuclei together), have the potential to generate enough power to provide energy for an entire city or enough destructive potential to level an entire town. It all depends on how and when the joining together or splitting apart takes place.
So it is with our words. Bound in one small group of muscles called the tongue lies an instrument with magnanimous potential for good or evil, to build up or to tear down, to empower or devour, to heal or to hurt. t all depends on how and when the joining together and splitting apart takes place.
Our words can make or break a marriage, paralyze or propel a friend, seam together or tear apart a relationship, build up or bury a dream, curse God or confess Christ. With our tongues we defend or destroy, heal or kill, cheer or churn. And we, as women, seem to be most talented at deciding when and where to wield this tiny sword.
Just as God used words to create physical life, our words can be the spark to generate spiritual life. Paul taught, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10 emphasis added).
Wow! It is with your mouth that you confess and are saved! That is radical responsibility. That is potently powerful.
On average, 4.3 million acres of forests are destroyed by wildfires each year in the United States. In 2000, nearly 123,000 separate fires destroyed 8.5 million acres of forest. About half are destroyed by natural causes such as lightening strikes, and the rest are caused by the carelessness of mankind.
While forest fires leave naked trees and barren hillsides that take years to revive, lives singed by fiery words can be laid bare forever. We would never carelessly fling a lit match out of a car window while passing a national forest, and yet, many times we carelessly toss fiery words about as we pass through life. We are often loose-lipped with criticism and tight-lipped with praise.
The writer of Proverbs notes, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21 NIV 1982 ed.). Of all the spiritual disciplines, I believe that bringing our tongues under the submission of the Holy Spirit is one of the greatest. Why? Because through our words we bring life and through our words we bring destruction. They lead us into tranquil waters or take us out to the stormy seas.
There is a story told about Xanthus the philosopher. He once told his servant he was going to have some friends for dinner the following evening and instructed him get the best thing he could find in the market.
When the philosopher and his guests sat down the next day at the table, they had nothing but tongue—four or five courses of tongue cooked in various ways. The philosopher finally lost his patience and said to his servant, “Didn’t I tell you to get the best thing in the market?
The servant said, “I did get the best thing in the market. Isn’t the tongue the organ of sociability, the organ of eloquence, the organ of kindness, the organ of worship?”
Then Xanthus said, “Tomorrow I want you to get the worst thing in the market.”
The next day when the philosopher sat at the table, there was nothing but tongue—four or five courses of tongue in various shapes and sizes. The philosopher lost his patience again and said, “Didn’t I tell you to get the worst thing in the market?”
The servant replied, “I did; for isn’t the tongue the organ of blasphemy, the organ of defamation, the organ of lying?”
I have never eaten tongue before, but I have certainly had to eat my words. I bet you have too.
How are you doing on our memory verse from my last devotion? It’s worth mentioning again: “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalms 141:3 NIV).
Dear Lord, help me choose my words wisely, for tomorrow I may have to eat them. Help me speak life into those around me today—to be a source of encouragement rather than discouragement, of hope rather than hurt, and of love rather than pain.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Make it your goal to use your words to encourage at least one person today.
Note his or her reaction to your words.
How did it make you feel about yourself when you encouraged someone else with your words?
Click over to my Facebook page and leave your response.
More from the Girlfriends
You have a powerful force, right under your nose. To learn more about how to use your words wisely and control your tongue, see my nook, The Power of a Woman’s Words. One way you can use your words well is to pray for your husband. Come visit us over at The Praying Wives Club and pay for your man.
On September 8, 2014, I’ll begin my on-line fall Bible Study on The Power of a Woman’s Words. I have the book and Bible study guide specially priced for the months of August and September. Those who sign up will receive access to free video lessons and a free video viewing guide. Click here to view a sample video lesson. This is perfect for church groups, small groups, or individual study. Click here to sign up and learn more. We’re going to learn about the power we possess, the people we impact, and the potential to change. Hope to see you there!
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