Consider ships: They are so large that strong winds are needed to drive them. But pilots direct their ships wherever they want with a little rudder. In the same way, even though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts wildly. Think about this: A small flame can set a whole forest on fire. The tongue is a small flame of fire, a world of evil at work in us. It contaminates our entire lives. Because of it, the circle of life is set on fire. The tongue itself is set on fire by the flames of hell. People can tame and already have tamed every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish. No one can tame the tongue, though. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we both bless the Lord and Father and curse human beings made in God’s likeness. Blessing and cursing come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, it just shouldn’t be this way!
Food For Thought:
“You’ve heard the saying ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.’ Well, that’s not true, is it? Words can hurt…They make us feel small and exposed. They make us feel shame.Revenge is bittersweet—after the sweetness wears off, the bitter taste remains in your mouth. In place of revenge, civil rights leaders taught nonviolent ways of confronting people who are putting you down. Your first response to humiliating treatment needs to be claiming your own dignity as a person created in the image of God. This awareness sets you free to respond to injustice in creative rather than violent ways.” –From “Justice” in Way to Live edited by Doroth C. Bass and Don C. Richter
God, words have so much power. They have been used to hurt me, and I have used them to hurt others. The times when people have chosen not to speak up has hurt me, and my silence has hurt others. May my words communicate justice and mercy and love. May my silence be wise and responsible. May I forgive those who have hurt me with their words and their silence. I want to bless you with my mouth! Amen.