I am not sure how many of you reading this had the grand discipline as a child of having your mouth washed out with soap. Contrary to the movie "The Christmas Story" it does not cause blindness and can be quite effective. We say things that are not true, hurt people, and a host of others things. So the soap thing is a reminder that inappropriate words need to go and be washed down the drain.
Do you often speak without thinking? I know I do. Struggling to work on it and it is getting a little better but is an ongoing battle. Do you sometimes talk when you should just listen? Ouch to that one to for me. Do we ever gossip, speculate or add our two bits, whatever you want to call it? Probably if all humans were honest the answer would be a resounding yes. But is it right? No. Words can build up or they can hurt. They can bring joy or they can bring sorrow. In James chapter 3 it talks about the dangers of the tongue and says that 'no man can tame it". Isn't that the truth? But with the Lords help and acknowledging we want to change we can in fact try out best to tame the tongue.
A person can not say they love God then spew out hateful words to their brother or sister in the Lord. It does not make much sense.(See 1 John 4:20). James 3:11 says a spring can not bring forth both fresh and bitter water so neither should our tongue be kind to some but hateful to others. It is kind of like not putting a Christian bumper sticker on your car unless you are going to 'act' like a Christian.
Blessing and cursing should not come out of the same mouth. Matthew 12:35-36 says "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken." Are you ready to tell God why you said hateful things to a friend or spouse or why you told that 'little white lie" or why you gossiped about someone? Proverbs 12:18 says "Reckless words pierce like a sword,but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 16:28 says" A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. " There are so many more verses in God's words dealing with the words we say but I will end on this one. Proverbs 15:1 says "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
PRAYER: Lord today we thank you for the gift of being able to speak. Forgive us when our words have not been so kind and have hurt someone. If someone has hurt us and not asked for forgiveness help us to try to forgive in your strength anyway so a root of bitterness does not spring up. In Jesus Name. Amen.