Archive for April 2015

The tongue has the power of life and death [Part 2]   Leave a comment

The power of the tongue

The power of the tongue

My grandfather is still alive but I never saw him. My mother briefly explained me that many years ago her grandfather said something which should not have been said to her father. Since then, my grandfather did not want to hear anymore of his siblings and parents. He abandoned my mother who grew up without parents. My grandfather changed his name to dissociate himself from his own family. He even left the church, turned to hinduism and became a pandit. See how powerful words can be?

The words we speak are audible testimonies of the state of our heart.  

A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. ” Luke 6:43-45

It is noteworthy that our Lord made an allegory between fruits and words. A bad tree produces bad fruits and bad words are spoken out of person whose heart is evil.

In the previous post we saw allusion James made regarding words:

Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring” James 3:11

It is abnormal that a fig tree produces olives because it’s not its characteristics. It is also impossible that water appropriate for consumption is drawn from a salty spring. Our nature has been changed. If the old man has been crucified, it is unnatural that the man born by the Spirit speaks evil words.

On the other hand, kind words spoken out do not harm others or corrupt ourselves.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.” Mat 15:18

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24

The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.” Prov. 10:21

It is not only the words we say which can bless or harm someone. It is how we say them. The same words spoken out in different tones communicate different messages.

We could even go further and say that the moment we say the words is very crucial. My mother use to say that when the man returns home from work, give him food and then discuss about issues.

We read in the book of proverbs:

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver…Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.” Proverbs 25:11,15

Jesus knew when to talk and not to talk. He did not say a word to defend Himself on the way to the cross. Even when He had many things to say, He did not venture to speak.

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” John 16:12

It is vital that we speak the right words at the right time with the appropriate tone. It’s not astonishing that James said that a man who does not fail in words is a perfect man.

And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.  The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Mat. 12:36

What Jesus said in Matthew is quite a scary statement.  All vain words, those that do not minister grace but rather calumnies are duly recorded. We’ll have to give an account of those evil words. There’re severe sanctions when someone is sued for defamation. The law in courts condemns words detrimental to one’s reputation. If we take seriously the risk involve in speaking, it’s better to stop talking. If we talk less, there’s less risk to sin.

Too much talk leads to sin.Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Prov. 10:19

It happened many times to me that I was quick to speak but slow to listen. This often led to incomprehension.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19


Posted April 13, 2015 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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