To me, they seem gross, fat, and overall – fleshly. Tongues are disgusting. But….as gross-looking and filled with food residue, it can do some really useful things. It is the strongest muscle in the human body. WOAH. It helps us taste, talk, swallow, chew, lick, and sing. That list is enough for me to admit how sad I would be if I was tongue-less.
Besides this list, the tongue speaks life.
Now that’s a big task.
Proverbs 18:21 – “The tongue has the power of life and death…” Pretty straight-forward. Either you bring people up or down. So, these words must COME from somewhere. Well…Matthew 15:18 – “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart.” All those little secrets or judging words we think no one will ever hear, they will come out. Maybe not directly word-for-word on what you say, but certainly in some form. Okay, the term “taming the tongue” seems a little more relevant now. If I try to cut back on the sarcastic and not helpful comments in my mind, it would look like I would speak more life. Proverbs 8:7-8 knows exactly what I mean – “My mouth speaks what is true…All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.” All these verses come back to the heart. Life and Death. Proceeding from the heart. Truth and Just. Must be important, then.
With all of these thoughts in mind, the one verse I could choke on fairly often is Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” Cut the rest out. Make a checklist before you talk.
Is this helpful? Will it benefit EVERYONE who hears what I say? Will it bring truth? Are the things I’m thinking okay if the world was able to hear it?
Will my words bring Life?
[originally posted 1.9.2012]