Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  Proverbs 18:21

This world has known the power of liberty, the power of industry, the power of energy, and the power of the printed page.  But there is a power that exceeds them all – the power of the tongue. The power of good and the power of evil come through our words.  Scripture speaks of death first because it is what comes naturally.  On our own, without God, only death is produced.  It takes the supernatural work of grace to put life into our tongues.

Weighing less than two ounces, the tongue is one of the smallest members of the human body.  Yet it has such power.  It is with the tongue that we inflict the greatest damage on others.  With it, dreams are put to death, relationships are slaughtered, and reputations are murdered.  There is but one letter difference between words and swords.  Every word has power for good or evil.

It is with the tongue that we bring great harm to ourselves.  What peace and blessing we miss because of ill spoken words.  Many religious people who are quick to flee from the sins of the world are so careless with sins of the tongue.  This is the sin of good men.  Job cursed his day.  Moses spoke unadvisedly with his lips.  Peter denied the Lord.  Even Paul apologized for addressing the high priest without respect.  How have my words inflicted wounds?

Most deplorable, it is with the tongue that we often hurt our God.  According to Ephesians 4:29-32 it is with our words that most grieve the Holy Spirit.   The moment that the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord he confessed his “unclean lips”.  When we speak hastily and hurtfully it is evidence that we do not have our eyes upon the Lord Jesus.

Christ is our great example.  He was spoken against.  Yet the closer the Lord got to the cross the less He spoke. When He was given opportunity to defend Himself, He “answered not a word”.  When all has been committed to the Father in prayer there is no need for worthless chatter. “Thy will be done” is a powerful way to live.  The cross changes everything.

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:4).