Our words hurt people. Simple as that. They can wound worse than a knife in the heart or bullet to the head. The scars they leave can be more disfiguring than scars to the face. Now, I know that we are more thin-skinned than ever these days. We take offense at every little thing and go looking for injustices and perceived slights so that we can loose our righteous indignation, but that doesn’t mean that we should be callous and cold, hurtful and cutting with our words. We could use them to uplift, to praise, to encourage….not to tear down, defeat and dishearten. Just because we can say something doesn’t mean we necessarily should. Yes, you and I have the freedom to say anything (well, just about) we choose. But how about we choose to hold our tongues when expressing ourselves doesn’t bring about the greater good. What does that mean? It means that silence speaks louder than words at times. It means that “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” We all heard that when we were kids, but I’m not sure how many of us actually learned it. Took it to heart.
Words cut, make our hearts bleed, but they can also heal and strengthen us and our resolve. It would be wonderful if we could consider that thought each and every time we opened our pie holes (I always liked that one!), but sadly that wouldn’t be reality. But we can try. We can put forth some effort to control that wicked tongue of ours and think before we speak (we’ve all heard that one as well….but it’s usually harder than the “don’t say anything” rule!).
“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” James 3:6