Do you know that the tongue is our most powerful friend and enemy? It shapes the way we think and feel; It determines the direction of our ministry and lives; It gives us the ability to build-up and also destroy. If we were to examine what has inspired or discouraged us the most, many of us would recall unforgettable words.
Proverbs 18:21 teaches, “Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit — you choose” (The Message Bible).
What have you been saying? What words have you been speaking over yourself, ministry, business, finances, marriage, and the people you love?
There is an ancient legend in the Talmud that tells of a king who gave his jester a command: “Go out and buy the very best thing in the world.” Shortly after, the jester came back with a package containing a tongue. The king praised the jester for having chosen so wisely. “Truly,” said the king, “the tongue is the best thing in the world.” Before the jester left, the king offered another request: “Now go and find the worst thing in the world.” The jester returned with another package. The king unwrapped it and found, yet again, a tongue.
Maintaining control of the tongue — “the best thing" and "the worst thing" in the world — is crucial. Our words can destroy the work of the enemy – but they can also start wars, destroy reputations, bury dreams, and create lasting wounds. We must never forget that words impact our lives, the people around us, and even our surrounding world.
It is true: “Sticks and stones” do break our bones — but words, also, painfully hurt us.