The Power of the Tongue

Yesterday morning, we continued in a series entitled, Be Light – Faith in Action, as modeled in the book of James. The topic of the day was The Power of the Tongue. We began the morning by reading James 3:1-12 out loud, together, to create a common foundation and point of reference, as our Administrative Pastor, Paul Zimmerman, spoke. The three main points that he highlighted from this passage were:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1) Our words affect others. What we say has the power to change us and others, and there are always people listening.
2) Our words take us where our heart leads. For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks… (Luke 6:45b)
3) Our words either build up or burn down. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
(Proverbs 18:21)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. – (James 3:9-10)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Words matter. They always have. As a writer, I think I have always been particularly sensitive to the impact of words. From a young age, I learned the power of words through reading, observing, and understanding how they made me feel – for better or worse. On our own, we will say that which we ought not to say, and harm those we long to help. So what can we do? The three take-aways from yesterday’s message were great reminders of how we can best be certain that the words we use build up, rather than burn down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            First, we must be slow to speak. James 1:19 tells us: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. If we slow down, and think first, we are able to hear His voice, and speak the words that He has for us to say.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Next, we need to put into our heart what we want to come out of it. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. – (Philippians 4:8) Good in, good out; enough said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally, rebuild what has been burned down. This means that we must repent when we hurt another with our words. Repentance goes beyond simply saying I’m sorry, as it is a turning away from the old patterns and moving forward into a new way of speaking. An apology is empty words if there is not a demonstrated heart change that follows.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Though a small muscle,The Power of the Tongue
such power it holds;
able to speak life,
or make a man fold.
We each have the choice,
the power to speak;
to offer great strength,
or make others weak.
Let us choose the words,
that extend His hope;
a lifeline to save,
those with no more rope.
Strength to the weary,
peace for those in pain;
may our mouths declare,
all praise to His Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we have the power to speak life into others. Thank You that when we are slow to speak, invest our heart in things of You and are quick to repent, others may be built up and pointed toward abundant life in You. Forgive us for the times that our words have affected others negatively and we have spoken without listening first. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will slow down and listen first, trusting that You will provide that which we are meant to speak in all situations so that light and life are passed on to all. Lead us to love in such a way that others may too burn brightly in the light of Your lavish love. Be glorified O God, as we speak life to all whom we encounter. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

Careful and Wise Living

Be careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. – (Ephesians 5:15-16)

 

How we choose to live, matters. Our lives affect more than just ourselves. People who do not know Christ, see us, and often form their opinion of who Jesus might be, based on who we are, and how we walk out our faith. Do our words and actions align? We only have one opportunity to make a first impression. What do we want the world to see? If we are living one life on Sunday, and an entirely different life the rest of the week, people may question the why. However, if our words and what we walk out each day of the week align with what we claim to value most, people will notice a difference. Making the most of every opportunity to do good, is a wonderful way for wisdom to be made tangible. People don’t want to hear eloquent words; rather they want to see a life that is truly touched by the love and grace of God. May we go forth this day, in wisdom, being careful to make the most of every opportunity to do good, so that Christ may be made tangible to many.

 

With care, let us live,Glory to God

with wisdom and grace;

making Christ’s love known,

to all in our space.

Not through speaking out,

but rather by how;

we choose to live life,

in the here and now.

Let each chance we have,

to do good, be kind;

be the choice we make,

so seeking shall find.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us instructions as to how we ought to live. Thank You too, that You do not simply say “do this” and then expect us to do things on our own. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who equips and empowers us to do all that You call us to do. Forgive us for not making the most of every opportunity that You present before us, and help us to trust You more, so that we will be wise and careful in how we live, and make the most of every opportunity that You bring our way. Lead us to love others just as You love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we lift our heads and hearts to You for wisdom and strength to do as You ask us to do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25