Controlling My Tongue

“Recently, I heard a sermon about showing others you love them, and I realized it’s not necessarily what I tell them, but how I show them. In my devotions every morning, I’ve been researching the word love, and how to “show” my love to others—family and friends.”

Last week, I shared with you about forgiveness, and to show love to others by having a forgiving spirit. Today, I’d like to share another way I’m learning to “show” love. The second lesson is about controlling my tongue.

Proverbs 15:23 says:  A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth; and a word spoken in due season, how good is it.

My words are powerful. With them I can harm or help. I can use words to encourage, bless, comfort, compliment, or praise someone, or I can ridicule, criticize, depress or discourage those around me. And … it is completely a decision of the heart. I choose which path I take when it comes to the comments I make in talking to others. Guard your heart, for everything we say comes from there first.  (Proverbs 4:23-27)

Not only is using my conversation to uplift others a choice, but it’s irreversible. Once the words are spoken, I cannot retract the damage from the mind of the person I’ve spoken them to. It reminds me of the oak trees belonging to the University of Auburn that were poisoned by an angry Alabama fan. He poured the powerful herbicide, Spike80DF, on the ground around the trees after the Auburn/Alabama game in 2011. It saturated the ground and was sucked up by the roots into the huge trees. Auburn University used every solution they could think of to save those trees, but once the poison entered the tree, it was too late. The oaks finally died and were eventually removed.

My words are like that poison. Once spoken, they cannot be retracted, and the damage is done. My words infiltrate the mind of the person I’m talking to, and do lasting damage. Or, if they’re encouraging words, they might inspire that person to achieve a higher goal, or to become a better person.

Our words are so powerful and can do tremendous damage to others. Think of how much better the world would be if we were all encouragers instead of criticizers. The accomplishments could be limitless. Remember … you can change the world with your heart.

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2 thoughts on “Controlling My Tongue

  1. One of my dear friends was raised in a troubled home, and because of her experience there, she always tries to carefully consider her words before speaking them out loud. It was interesting to me at first, because you can watch her and see her weighing her thoughts. I’d grown up with the old adage that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all, but I’d never watched it lived out as purposefully as I see it in her. It’s been a blessing to learn from her example.

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