When we let out tongues speak in anger. Sometimes, I don’t think we realize what a powerful weapon we all have with us at all times – our tongue. Did you know that the tongue is mentioned 129 times in 126 verses? For our heavenly Father to mention it that many times must mean that is extremely important to Him that we listen. The tongue is an amazing creation. Think about it. Your tongue can tell the difference between sweet, spicy, sour, salty, hot & cold. AND, you use it to form words. The very same words that we use to lift each other up, or cut each other down. The very same words that can bring comfort and pain. The very same words that are spoken in joy and in anger.
As I had mentioned a few days ago, I am caught in the middle of friends who are hurt and angry – over words spoken in assumption and anger. My heart is grieving heavily in this situation. At first, I was angry, but it quickly changed to sadness and heartache, especially seeing my friends who are angry and hurting having a hard time dealing with everything and some not willing to listen. While others are hurt by words that were said in anger and assumption that should never have been said, and they were not ready to listen because of all the hurt that was unnecessarily inflicted.
The childhood saying “Sticks & stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is soooooo wrong. Words do hurt. They hurt more than a physical injury because we can’t touch it, nurture it, put a band-aid on it, and allow it to heal. It’s a wound on our heart that has trouble healing because people, directly or indirectly, pour salt in the wound which causes us more pain and agony.
God pointed out to me several passages this morning in my guidebook for my life, the Bible, that relate to the tongue. James 1:26 says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself…” (NIV)
The passage in James 3:1 – 12 is titled “Taming the Tongue”. Wow! It most be really important for us to guard our tongues if God goes to the trouble to speak about it for 12 verses straight! Verse 6 talks about how the tongue is “a world of evil among the parts of the body” and how it “corrupts the whole person”. In verse 9, God even tells us that with our tongue, we “praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men”. A two-edged sword – one side singing praises & praying to our Abba Father, the other cutting down our fellow brothers & sisters in Christ. What pain we must cause our Abba Father. He even goes as far as to tell us this in James 4:11-12, “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?” (NIV) OUCH!
But, I love James 4:10 – “Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will lift you up!” (NIV) How awesome is the God we serve that He would say, even before we sinned, that He will forgive us, if we will truly humble ourselves and repent of our sins! No matter what mistakes we make, if we are truly sorry and truly repent, He will forgive us and throw our sins as far as the east is from the west.
I will say that I have already seen God working in this situation. Bridges are slowly being mended, and I pray that they will continue to be mended and, in the end, be even stronger than what they were before. God does not want conflict amongst His children any more than we want conflict amongst our own. I would like to ask you all to continue praying. Abba is listening and He is working in all the lives involved. I pray that even though we’ve had to walk through this very heated fire, we will all come out more refined & ready to do His will! In fact, he says just that in Jeremiah 9:7-8a:
“See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people? Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks with deceit.”(NIV)
Zechariah 13:9b says, “I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.” (NIV) Do you know why silver & gold (and other precious metals) are refined? To remove impurities from them. So, why does our Heavenly Father refine His children like silver & gold? To remove sin (impurities) from our lives. Yes, it is painful. Yes, you may lose something in the process. But, in the end, will be closer to being pure, sinless, and more like Christ. That is our ultimate goal, isn’t it?
wow. this is a GREAT post.God has really been convicting me of being an angry person, so I've been praying for help with my patience and self-control. Ironically my life has had many instances to test this prayer request after praying it 🙂 Funny how God works that way. Thanks so much for the encouragement!