The Power of Words
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Words can hurt terribly! We've all said things that we regret. Stinging words leave their mark, and we can't take away the sting or erase the emotional impact they have. We may have made our tongues a tool of deception. Learning to tell lies expertly, we may have shattered someone's trust. We may have used our words to attack and wound our children and our spouses.
James recognized the terrible power of our words: "The tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth" (James 3:5-10).
There seems to be no final cure for this unruly member of our body. We need to respect what great damage it can do. Kids may chant, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me." But this is a weak defense against a verbal weapon that can shatter our spirit. Whom have we hurt with our words?
Our words are like fire: we cannot control them or reverse the damage they cause.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.