Meditation Moments 123: "The Tongue"

If I have wounded any soul today,
         If I have caused one foot to go astray,
         If I have walked in my own willful way,
         Dear Lord, forgive.

         "If I have uttered idle words in vain,
         If I have turned aside from want or(E)pain,
         Lest I offend some other through the strain,
         Dear Lord, forgive."

In James Chapter 3, where it talks about the tongue, it says, "In many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." -- Jam.3:2,5,6,8.
Also, turn to Proverbs, where it says, "Life and death are in the power of the tongue," "the tongue of the wise giveth health" and "a wholesome tongue is a tree of life." -- Prov.18:21; 12:18; 15:4. So if you want a long and useful life, and for your very health's sake, "keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile." -- Psa.34:13. For your very life's sake, watch your words!
A loose, unkind, or uncontrolled tongue can even be a hindrance to God healing the body of a man or woman. How often we wound someone with our tongue, maybe unintentionally, but unkind just the same. Wounds on the heart of a loved one, so many times that's been the case. Some of us carry scars on our bodies from wounds and cuts, and they don't bother us, but just remind us of some trivial thing that happened years ago. But how different it is with the scars that are on the heart, left there by a bitter angry tongue. Some have never healed at all.

If I knew that a word of mine,
         A word not kind and true,
         Might leave its trace on a loved one's face,
         I don't think I'd speak it, would you?

If I knew the sting of a word
         Might linger and leave its mark
         With a deep dark scar on a loved one's heart,
         I don't think I'd speak that word, would you?

That poem is by George Matthas Adams, who once wrote, "When I was a very small boy, I committed to memory a little poem by Mary T. Lacer:

If we knew whose feet were standing
         Close beside the narrow stream;
         If we knew whose eyes were closing
         In a sleep that knows no dream,
         We'd be so kind and tender,
         Lightly judge and gently speak.
         Let us act as thought we knew it,
         For the links so quickly break.'"

Wounds in the heart are hidden deep. No one but the one who carries them around knows anything about them. Their hurts are often carried in silence, and only the eye of their Heavenly Maker ever sees them, but He sees and understands. What a pity that we should wound a heart that may already be carrying a burden of some kind that we don't know anything about. Maybe at that moment they were yearning for a word of encouragement from you, but instead the word that you spoke wounded deeply and left an ugly scar.

There was a wound once in the gentle heart,
         Whence all life's sweetness seemed to ebb and die,
         And love's confiding changed to bitter smart,
         While slow, sad years went by.
         Yet as they passed, unseen,
         An Angel stole and laid a barb of healing on the pain,
         And now you see the heart made whole,
         But oh, the scar remains."

Why do thoughtless, unkind words leap from our lips like they do? Is there some remedy for such a thing? Yes, there is victory! Thank God there is!
The victory begins in a change in the heart , for words are but the outflow of the soul from which they proceed. And if that soul has a baptism of God's Spirit, they'll be so filled with God's Love, that every word will be filled with tender compassion, for God is Love.
There's only one way to change the unruly tongue, and that is to transform the spirit that controls it. Ask God to baptize you with His Spirit, for the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of Love.
We can never control that tongue of ourselves, the Word of God tells us this. "The tongue can no man tame" (Jam.3:8), but God can tame it! God is God, and nothing is impossible with Him. "With man is it impossible, but with God all things are possible." -- Mat.19:26.
Open your heart to Him, yield yourself completely to Him, ask Him to come in and full you with His Spirit. The indwelling Christ can then speak through you, and your words will be "seasoned with salt." -- Col.4:6. If you faithfully read God's Word, you'll come into an abiding relationship with Him, that as Jesus said, "My Word abides in you." -- Jn.15:7.
When His Word abides in you, you can't gossip and say the unkind and bitter thing. You'll stop do much of that. You've heard the childish call to each other, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me." Well, that isn't true! Sticks and stones can make surface wounds, but the wounds from words are a long time in healing.
There's an admonition in God's Word, which says, "Keep thy tongue from evil and the lips from speaking guile." -- Psa.34:13. Jesus said, "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." -- Mat.12:36,37.
There's a novel which describes a woman in this manner: "She nibbled at her salmon and other people's reputation." And in another book, it speaks of a man's character in this manner: "He could whisper away a character by an innocent word; he could destroy a high reputation by a shrug of the shoulders." Will God have to deal with us about things like that?
Trust God to change you! Believe that His Word will not fail. He can come win with His Spirit, and cause kindness to flow through you because He possesses your tongue and your life. You'll become a stream of blessing to all about you. God bless you and help you in this and give you a victory. He's still on the Throne. Prayer will change things.

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family -- This file has not been proofread.