The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Prov. 15:4
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Anyone who has ever been called a bad name, or has had something mean said to them, know just how untrue that childhood ditty is. Like a neutron bomb which annihilates human life but leaves buildings intact, words can devastate. Your body may remain unharmed, but your heart suffers the deadly shrapnel of painful phrases. Whether you’re eighteen or eighty, you can probably recall the pain of someone’s harsh words scalding your soul.
Words are powerful. Words are powerful beyond imagination. Think about it. When God created the world, how did he do it? He spoke. God said, “Let there be…” and there was. Words have power. The potency of godly words can revive, heal, and change our lives. Ungodly words have the power to bind, imprison, and destroy.
Jesus once asked his accusers, “Who can convict me of sin?” No one could. Not even of His words. Never once did the perfect Son of Man speak words that were meant to hurt, not heal or meant to destroy instead of build. That perfect Son of God spoke loving words for each of us. Even as He was dying for our hurtful words, His words spoke of forgiveness and love.
It will all depend on what’s filling your heart. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks”(Lk 6:45). A critical heart produces a critical tongue. A self-righteous heart produces a judgmental tongue. A bitter heart produces a sour tongue. An ungrateful heart produces a grumbling tongue.
But a loving heart produces a gracious tongue. A faithful heart produces a truthful tongue. A peaceful heart produces a reconciling tongue. A trusting heart produces an encouraging tongue.
Fill your heart with grace by soaking in your Bible. Soak in Matthew 5, or Romans 12, or 1 Corinthians 13, or Philippians 2.
Our words have the power to not only build-up our loved ones, but also lead them back to the loving arms of our Savior.
Prayer: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Ps. 141:3). Let me speak only that which shows your love to others. Amen
After attending the University of Washington, John Eich received his B.A. from Northwestern College in Watertown, WI. He then attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wi. receiving his Masters in Divinity. He was assigned to Grace Lutheran Church in Alma, MI in 1985. He also served Zion Lutheran in neighboring St. Louis, Mi. until both churches merged to become Good Shepherd Lutheran.
He serves on various district and synodical boards. He frequently writes for the synodical magazine "Forward in Christ." He has also been involved in the translation and review of the Evangelical Heritage Version of the Bible, a new translation of the Bible which is being prepared.
In 1983 he married Susan Ann Wendt who has been his best friend and help mate since. Together they raised three boys who are now living their faith in Jesus away from mom and dad.