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Power of the tongue

I asked a few people during the course of the week what part of the body did they consider to be the strongest.

Well, I was very surprised by the answers and even more so by the people the answers came from.

Both men and women claimed it was the female sex organ. Actually, only one other person gave another answer and that was the brain. One man even explained and exclaimed that “it possesses special power to bring the strongest of men to their knees.”

If I wasn’t standing beside my vehicle, I guess I too would have been brought to my knees after I laughed until I had to walk away because of his facial expression and the conviction with which he told the story.

Nonetheless, I believe the strongest part of the body is the tongue.

Christians in Proverbs 17:28 hold that “Even the foolish man, when he keeps quiet, is taken to be wise: when his lips are shut he is credited with good sense.”

The Buddhists believe “the tongue like a sharp knife … kills without drawing blood.”

And I believe – dogs unlike humans will continue to be trustworthy and loving creature as long as they continue to wag their tails instead of their tongues.

We should be always careful of what we say. I find we are relatively loose in our verbal interactions and we like to mask some very harsh things as ‘truth’. Then there is the opposite where we not only gossip but tell lies and instead of building up or lifting up we tear down.

A friend gave me some words from Isaiah 50:4 to meditate on – The Lord have given me words of wisdom, so that I may know how to comfort the weary.

It seems as if there are some of us who give absolutely no thought to the damage they are doing or can do when they brandish their tongues as if in an effort to win King or Queen of the Crop; chopping left, right, centre, top, bottom and in between.

You see, the tongue, void of direction by the brain and good common sense like an unbridled stallion runs with the power to trample and leave lying waste all in its path. Like a cunning and crafty thief it can steal the breath of our character, which is integrity.

The thing is, we are always to quick to say we have been wronged but we fail to acknowledge that often we are the ones doing the tearing down and destroying with the senseless use of our tongues.

One of my closest friends used to say all the time that there were some people who should not have a tongue. Fortunately, or unfortunately God has given each of us a tongue; a simple little tool. And like all tools it has a specific purpose.

That purpose is to encourage and build up each other. Both wise and foolish have been granted the luxury of having a tongue.

But just like most other things we have we misuse the tongue. We meet in secret places and slice and dice and demolish each other.

Criticism given with the wrong spirit does nothing more than crush a person’s self esteem and may even then cause that wounded person to be critical and untrusting of others.

Ridicule and sarcasm – ‘that is the dumbest thing I ever heard’, ‘you are a total dunce’. We laugh at people’s mistakes, call them names, give them titles. We cause others to laugh at them and even cause them to laugh at themselves.

The stabs of the tongue leave some very painful and lasting wounds.

The tongue is to affirm others that they are important but often we try to make others feel unimportant.

The Lord has given us words of wisdom, let us use those words and comfort the weary.


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