So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! - James 3:5
Our tongues may be small, but the power they wield is great. Our tongues can start wars, they can end marriages and friendships, cause dissension and division, destroy lives. The damage they cause go much deeper than injuries inflicted by other weapons. Anyone who has ever said, “Sticks and stones my break my bones, but names will never hurt me” knows in their hearts that isn’t true. It’s just something we say to help one another shrug off the hurt caused by words, but we all know how the damage caused by a hurtful word cuts us to the core, and can take so much longer to heal. Our tongues can cause death to another person’s soul.
But words can also bring life. With a sweet word of encouragement, a heart of despair can be healed, marriages can be reconciled and friendships strengthened. Our tongues can share Hope through the Gospel and bring wisdom to others in His truth. Our tongues have the power to change the trajectory of someone’s life, give them a fresh perspective, make them feel whole again.
Here’s the truth, my friends: We don't live in the big moments of our lives - in the few biggest decisions or most pivotal moments of our lives. No, the reality is that we live in the ten thousand little moments of our days. It's in those little moments where the character of our relationships are set, and it’s all done with our tongue.
We all bring sin with us into those relationships, so they can get messy. We bring self-absorbed, self-focused attitudes into the relationships with the people in our lives. The words we speak come from that self-focused place - far too often, we’re only looking at a situation from our perspective, and what comes out of our mouths is our perception or expectation We can't help it, it's part of our DNA. We'd love to be able to point our finger at the other person as carrying all the blame, but if we're being completely honest with each other, conflict in our relationships stems from our needs, wants, and desires not being met, and our mouths expressing that. The interesting part is that most of the time the desire is not sinful in and of itself - we want to be loved and respected, we want a Godly spouse, we want obedient children. But the problem enters when sin makes us feel entitled and demanding...those desires become expectations, and it's a quick slide down. Sin makes us unwilling to extend mercy, unwilling to forgive minor offenses, and self-righteously defensive instead of being ready to confess. And our tongues leave a path of destruction.
But there is grace for these ten thousand little moments in our lives, and we enter into that grace simply by asking for it. Our words can be filled with grace and encouragement for those walking through life with us, they can breathe life into that which is dead, we only need to remain humble and ask for it.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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