Power of the Tongue
This week we are going to talk about our words, and the power they possess. Let start out by seeing what the Bible has to say on this topic.
Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
All of us have likely heard this scripture at one time or another, and for good reason. This is not just something thrown into the Bible to scare us, there is truth to this. For further elaboration lets look to the book of James.
James 3:3-12 (AMP)
3 If we set bits in the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about.
4 Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze!
6 And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna).
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature).
8 But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness!
10 Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so.
11 Does a fountain send forth [simultaneously] from the same opening fresh water and bitter?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can a salt spring furnish fresh water.
Here our tongue is compared to the rudder of a ship, being such a small part of the whole but able to steer the ship in any direction. As such with our words we can steer our lives in various directions. The devil is constantly trying to influence us to use our words negatively. When you call yourself a failure, or tell yourself you will never succeed you are confessing that over your life. You are in effect placing a curse over yourself.
Likewise if you confess the Word of God over your life, confessing that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you and that you are a new creation through Him then you are confessing words of blessing over your life.
Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
You can build people up or tear them down with your words. Its easy to disregard what we say as merely words, but in a way words are the closest thing to magic there is. Just think about it, you say abracadabra and summon a rabbit from a hat, or you can say “your stupid” and summon negative feelings over someone’s life.
For those of you who are gamers, here is another way to look at it. Years ago I played World of Warcraft and on that game and pretty much any other RPG you have spells that damage others and spells that build others up, such as healing, or increasing their strength.
You could liken negative words to casting a harmful spell at an ally. Or saying positive things could be likened to healing them.
We should be closely guarding that which comes out of our mouth, and striving to say only positive words to uplift people.
Matthew 15:18 (NLT)
18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.
Likewise once we tame our tongue we should strive to tame our thoughts as well.
Because of Hollywood, when we think of a curse we might think of someone shooting a giant purple, shadowy fireball. The concept is there but in reality its not quite as theatrical as most think.
In the Old Testament we often saw the use of “word curses” when someone declares a curse on someone, or on their people. This was done simply by uttering words. While we don’t see this as much in the New Testament our words still do have considerable power.
Will you use your “power” for good or for evil?