Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Untamed Tongues

“no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water?” James 3:8-11

Certainly the scriptures have much to say about the words of our mouths. Our words influence our emotional health, direction, and ultimately our destiny. But what I’m reflecting on today is the impact of our words on others. What about their health? Direction? Destiny?

Today my wife said to me that she thought the reason why so many people hurt others with words is because they have no respect for themselves. Then I thought about James’ comment, “curses against those who have been made in the image of God.” It was then that I began to realize how true Michelle’s statement was. We do not fully appreciate the fact that we are God’s image. Therefore we cannot respect that image-not in ourselves, and consequently (or especially), not in others.

Quite simply, the spoken word is the single-most powerful force ever. Energy is contained in our words-positive and negative. We either cooperate with God in redeeming and restoring His broken image in others, or we perpetuate the destruction. With our words, we either call people out of the shadows, or we drive them deeper into the darkness.

The old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is an enormous lie. I have been hit with both stick and stone and recovered fully. But there are painful words from my past that still have power to injure me today. Satan uses these “bitter” words to steal, kill, or destroy God’s image in all of us.

The churches’ mission is to bring forth a different message. We are to place this message into the hearts of all who would listen: You can be made new! A full restoration is offered in Jesus Christ! God’s beauty on display in people!

Proverbs 10:32 (NLT) “The godly speak words that are helpful, but the wicked speak only what is corrupt.”

May we come to realize that people are given life or death through our words.
May we surrender our tongues to Jesus as instruments of life.
May we see the potential beauty of God in others as we form our words.
May our words have power to restore the cracked image of God in others.

Current weekend series: “Big Mouth”Embracing the Impact of my Words

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Chris Bennett
New Community Church
email: chrisb@newcommchurch.org
web: http://www.ncclv.com

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