What is mankind’s greatest weapon? What strong power is capable of tearing apart people, families, towns and nations?
What tool do we have that can build relationships, enlighten minds, start movements, drive out evil and restore hope?
What sets us apart?
Words are powerful. They are both life giving and dangerous. Powerful words of hope gave strength to the speeches and work of Martin Luther King Jr. while words of deception and persuasion paved the way to the atrocities of Adolf Hitler.
I have always been of the opinion that too many words will lead to trouble. I believe many of the fights and misunderstandings we experience could be avoided if everyone knew how to remain silent.
There are several verses in the Bible that talk about this. Proverbs 17:28 is a great example: “Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise; and he who shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”
Another good example is Proverbs 29:11: “A fool utters all his mind, but a wise man keeps it in until afterwards.”
James 3:8 describes the tongue as “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison,” and I think this is easy to see.
We have all experienced how hurtful words are, and I am sure we can all think of times that we spoke when we should not have. But are words always so bad?
Proverbs 25:11 talks about good words when it says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 15:4 also says that “a wholesome tongue is a tree of life.”
These different verses show just how strong our words are in both directions. They can be encouraging, lifegiving and valuable, or they can be degrading, poisonous and deadly.
So how do we find balance? How do we know what to say and when to speak? The answer can be seen in many of the verses I just mentioned.
The key is wisdom. Words of wisdom give life and the words of foolishness destroy. The only way we can find wisdom is in God and his Word.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 that our words overflow from our hearts, and Colossians 2:3 says that the treasures of wisdom are found in Christ. We need wisdom to guide our words, and true wisdom is only found in God.
We have power in our words – a lot of power. How do you want to use this power? The tongue is dangerous, but what can be more impactful than a word fitly spoken? We have this power, but we need God if we ever want to control it and use it for good. Seek Christ, chase wisdom and you will have good words overflowing from a full heart.