Whenever someone tries to say something and it comes out wrong, my husband likes to say “Is your tang toungled?” It makes me laugh every time. I always stand amazed at the fact that he can say that without getting it all mixed up – Ha Ha! Just the other day, he was saying it to my son, whose tongue got all tangled up multiple times throughout the day. It has happened to every single one of us at one time or another.
I was thinking on this when I was reading about the power of our words in the Bible later on that evening. That power can be deadly, or it can be something quite glorious.
- “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” Proverbs 18:21
- “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” Proverbs 15:4
Most of us already know that we shouldn’t speak harsh words to one another. Many of us do our best to be careful about our word choices and try not to hurt others by saying mean things. Although some don’t, a lot of people try to abide by the old saying, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This is true, and it is good for us to guard our tongues in many situations. We should think twice about what is about to come out of our mouths if we think it will be something biting or hurtful. But most of the time I think we CAN think of something nice to say. I really do.
As I was praying about the power of the tongue, I couldn’t help but hear God’s voice tell me that striving not to say MEAN things just isn’t quite enough for Him – that alone won’t help us to really live out God’s command to love others to the fullest. We are actually called to do far more with our words and our communication than to simply avoid being harsh.
- We are called to edify one another.
- We are asked to actively build each other up,
- God asks us to offer love and mercy to one another
- He wants for us lend our support and help to those in need.
- The Lord wants us to sing praises, and hymns and rejoice with one another!
- And often, this takes opening our mouths.
I can see clearly that I, personally, am far too conservative with coming out and sharing my uplifting and positive comments and thoughts with others! There is a lot more of value I could say to others to help them rejoice in life – and admittedly, I have just been plain lazy about it.
See, I don’t want to just avoid eating rotten fruit, like the verse says. I think that the Lord wants for us to partake of the good fruit that He offers to us too. If we never say anything nice, there will be no good fruit to offer to others and no good fruit for us to eat either. We just avoid the junky stuff. But we all need actual nourishment. When has starving ourselves ever been the right answer?
The beauty of using our words to edify one another, is that it yields fruit for both the receiver of the kindness as well as the giver.
But the magnificence of it lies in the fact that it glorifies God!
- Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 ESV
- Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12: 9-13 NKJV
Wow. This is going to take action. This not only means avoidance of tongue tangling, or refraining from saying harsh things, but also going out of my way to communicate goodness to others with my mouth – with a fervent spirit no less! Whoa.
Here’s some more truth about the tang toungled times in which we live: Technology can be a good avenue for communication, but it shouldn’t be a substitute for real connections made face to face, using our words with other people, and building relationships in which we have to interact on a different level than we do in front of a computer. It takes real interaction with others to edify them, to defer to them, to show affection and brotherly love.
Our world likes to tell us that we are more connected now than we have ever been, but I beg to differ. Sometimes when things get “easier” we have to work “harder.” I say this as I sit in front of my own computer and blog to you all, but I am more than convicted that I cannot allow this to be a counterfeit of the real and true thing. Thank you Jesus!
Our world likes to tell us lies. Sorry, but it is the truth.
I know that if I can’t find it in within me to say something nice, that it means I need to ask God to purify that heart of mine. He will put more of HImself in there and I can draw upon that to show His love. That’s how it should be anyway – more of Him, less of me. He reminds me again how important the condition of my heart is in yet another section of His love letter to us:
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
Sometimes, there’s not abundance of goodness in my heart. Sometimes I don’t spend time making sure the stockpiles of treasure there are God’s treasure. He is the only truth, and He is the only light. Only He can fill my heart with all that I need to bring forth any good.
I have no question that if the Lord were standing, physically in front of me, He would actually speak uplifting and kind, sincere words to me with His mouth – He would be generous too. He would tell me something to make sure I know that He knows me – better than anyone else does. He would share verbally how very much He loves me. His expressions, tone, body language, and everything about His message to me would reinforce His words. He wouldn’t be tang toungled, and no cat could ever have His tongue or prevent Him from saying what He wants to say to me – what He really wants for me to know – He would convince me. He would never give up. His actions would match His words. His words would match His actions. They already do.
And this wonderful thing He does for us? He expects us to do for others……………
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13: 34-35
He expects us to carve this into our hearts. He gives us the power to do so.
Thankfully, Our Father has given us His Word for us to stand upon and learn from -and it shall never pass away. Those words of HIs are worth listening to. Those words of His are worth hearing and following. Those are words of His are worthy of being lived out – through the years, through our lives, day in, and day out.
So, rather than simply eat my words, or just stuff them back and end up choking on them, I shall ask my wonderful Savior to place HIS words in my heart and move me by the power of the Holy Spirit to share them – actively, readily, and liberally. There is always something sincere and real, that is utterly positive that we can say to someone else – yes, even our “enemies.”
And if we can’t seem to find it? Or if we are at a loss for words?
We just ask, and we shall receive.
Yes….His words are better than ours every day!
“Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” Exodus 4:12