Words are powerful things. Words are how Job’s friends are getting themselves more and more in trouble, as each chapter of the book progresses. They believe Job is a hypocrite because he is grieving over all that is lost, but really, they are in the wrong. They have judged him wrong, and are using their words to abuse his character.
Reading this reminded me of times I had unintentionally hurt people with my words. I can still see the crushed faces of my friends, as my jesting words struck a chord deep down. It hurt them. And there was no turning back.
James 3:6 refers to the tongue as a “flame of fire.” It is a small thing that can do a lot of damage. With one word, a spark ignites, catches fire, and may cause tons of pain in the end. This pain may spread, build up, and carry on for years. It may build a wall, ruin a friendship, or brutally tear down a person’s self esteem. The power of the tongue should not be taken lightly.
As Jesus says in Matthew 15:17-20, it’s not what goes into our mouths, but what comes out that defiles us. I believe Jesus’ words serve as a caution to you and me. We really need search our hearts and ask if our outward words and actions are really showing what we believe deep down. And then we need to take the correct steps to remedy the problem.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to start any fires.
Prayer: Lord, please tame my tongue. Help me to think before I speak, so that every word I say brings glory to you.