SET ABLAZE BY THE FIRES OF HELL
Most of us don’t give much thought to our tongue. It’s just – there. When you go to the doctor for an examination the first thing he tells you to do is, “stick out your tongue.” Why does he look at the tongue? Because the health of the tongue is a very strong indicator of the health of the entire physical body. Of course the tongue also makes it possible for us to form words, and the kind of words that come across our tongue reflect the health of our ‘spiritual’ body and the health condition of our Christian walk.
Did you know that God says one of the greatest diseases of man is his tongue? It’s true. When the tongue is employed in a sinful way the Bible describes it as “Being Set Ablaze By The Fires Of Hell” (James 3:6). The words that come across our tongue can make someone feel happy, sad, angry, or embarrassed. The tongue can completely ruin friendships. It can cause misunderstandings. It can put a wall between brothers and sisters. The tongue can cause a great deal of damage and in many cases the damage is so deep that it takes a very long time to heal. In fact sometimes the person never heals from the hurt inflicted upon them by the words of another person.
The words that you and I speak can either build up or they can tear down. They say that in an average lifetime a person speaks more than 370 million words. How many of your 370 million words have you used to encourage someone? How many of those words have you used in anger, or jealousy, or vengeance? How many of those words have you used to gossip about someone? At the end of your earthly life how many of those 370 million words will you have used to tell others about Jesus Christ? It is a very interesting fact that the total of recorded Words spoken by Christ is only 36, 450 which means that both you and I speak more words in just seven days than all the recorded words spoken by Christ in the entire Bible. Yet the words of Jesus Christ have had more influence on the world and have changed more lives than any other words in history. Don't you think that, as Christians, we should be using a large percentage of our 370 million words in such a way as to share Jesus Christ with our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers and our family? Here is another interesting fact - Do you realize that If we were to use just one out of every ten words that we speak for the glory and advancement of the Kingdom of God that it would be the equivalent of all the recorded words of Christ multiplied one hundred times over? Can you imagine the tremendous impact that would have on the world for Christ? It would be phenomenal! The sad truth of it all however is that relatively few people have even taken the time to read those 36,450 Words of Christ. This is a big part of why our world is in the condition that it is in today. This is why the world is filled with so much pain, sorrow, loneliness and tears. So invasive is sorrow and loneliness in today’s world that the average person sheds 121 pints of tears in their lifetime. Did you know that? And the majority of those tears are the result of a deliberate rejection and turning away from Jesus Christ.
The words that you and I speak every day are a direct representation or ‘mirror’ of what is in our heart. Someone once said that “whatever is in the well of your heart will show up in the bucket of your speech.” It’s true that our mouth speaks those things that are in the heart. Impure words come from an impure heart. Loving words come from a loving heart. Our tongue is a spiritual thermometer that reflects the condition of the heart. The Bible teaches that if we truly know Jesus Christ and claim Him as our Lord and Saviour then that relationship will be manifested through the words spoken by the tongue. As God moves upon a person’s heart He also moves upon their tongue which means that no cruel or unfair words will ever come from a heart that has truly been turned over to God. Why? Because when we give God total control over every aspect of our life that includes giving Him control over our speech as well. The Bible gives warning that we are responsible for and will be held accountable for every word that passes our lips.
God has given very clear guidelines regarding our words and our speech. He tells us to avoid rumors and not speak evil of anyone or make false accusations. He instructs us not to say things that will harm others, not to gossip, and to avoid foul and abusive language. The Bible says that “good words can only come from a good heart and it says as well that the Lord delights in pure words. Further we are told to keep our lips from telling lies, to curb our tongue and not to brag. We are to give gentle answers. We are to let our conversations be gracious and let the Lord control our words so that we speak words that are encouraging. God also gives the reasons for setting forth those guidelines regarding our speech. which are - “because the tongue can sting like a snake…because the tongue can crush a persons spirit…because harsh words and a gossiping tongue can stir up anger…because the tongue can cut like a sharp razor.” He also warns that we should be slow to speak because “the godly think before speaking.”
Simply put – Your tongue is your steering wheel, your words are your navigator, and they both take your life in the direction of your speech. Be careful of the words that come across your tongue!
God bless you,