In light of the most recent Horrific and Devastating shooting spree in Arizona, I was moved to speak about the power of words. Throughout the Bible the power of the tongue is covered in many places. I want to first list how harmful the tongue can be by quoting James 3: 2-12, We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
The reason I am so compelled to bring this to light is because we tend to forget that though the tongue is small it's reach is tremendous. One wrong word can trigger a incomprehensible reaction that can carry through nations, as did Hitlers words which slaughtered many 100,000's of people; it's mind boggling that one man's word, could have such impact on complete strangers, who gave credence to the words of one small man and not just in stature but in mind, as well.
Many people are saying that Sarah Palin's words sparked this man's action, we can't answer that; however, we can agree that when words of violence are spoken, violence evokes violence. I am not judging what choices have been made, but I am reminding myself as well as others, that we never know what someone is truly feeling or thinking, I try very hard, though I fail at times, as does everyone, to try and remember that I would rather my words be the words that bring someone peace , understanding and comfort, then be the one whose words caused the last straw to break and push someone over the edge.
"The Old Geezer" a blog I follow talked about " Common Courtesy" or lack there of this week, and there was an overwhelming response. I think that ties into the power of the tongue. He asked his readers how they responded when someone is rude to them? The answers ran the gamut, with most people though, happily responding that they returned the behavior with kindness.
Which brings me to Colossians 4: 5-6, 5Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
The same way in which the power of the tongue can destroy it can rebuild. I know, I myself struggle all the time when I forget to ask the Holy Spirit to guide my words and grant me the strength to call upon Him to answer and not my earthly mind.
President Obama gave one of the best speeches in my opinion since he took office last night. He spoke of coming together, not pointing blame but to remember to be kind to those we love and to our neighbors, and most importantly; remember to tell those who are important to you, that you love them everyday, not just sometimes or often but everyday; again the power of words.
He spoke of being a shining example of what that little nine-year-old girl, who just became part of the Student Body in her school, was so excited and full of HOPE about growing up and making a difference in her country. His WORDS brought people to their feet and tears to their eyes, because he was renewing their faith in the power we have as people to make this world a better place.
When we speak as God has instructed and act as He has asked "Love your neighbor as you would yourself." Our world begins to mirror His divine plan.
I know that for me, watching the lives of the people who were lost over the weekend in Arizona has breathed air into my flame of light so that it may shine even more brightly amongst the darkness, and I hope that each of you will share your thoughts as well if you got to see any of the speech, and if not, than perhaps just rereading these two Bible quotes will give you confirmation of what we already know, though, at times this little thing called life clouds our memories, all we need do, is call upon the Grace that we carry within everyday...God Bless you all, have a fruitful week, and may God keep you in His loving embrace... Patricia©