Sandy Wisdom-Martin recently heard a tidbit of information that caught her attention.
A conference presenter cited research that revealed no matter where you are on the Christian continuum, whether you are a brand new Christian or have been one for decades, all Christians continue to struggle with two things: taming the tongue and forgiveness.
“It seems what defines our culture today is perpetual outrage at a fevered pitch, and it has affected and infected God’s people,” said Wisdom-Martin, executive director-treasurer for National WMU, in the latest episode of her On the Journey Conversations podcast, “Taming the Tongue.”
“Instead of being salt and light, instead of displaying the grace and love of Christ, we’ve taken our disagreements public, especially through social media, demanding that we be heard. We jump to dark places, assigning hidden agendas and wondering about motives.
“We all been wounded by words that cut deep,” Wisdom-Martin said. “Let’s be honest, we also have wielded the knife of words that left others bleeding.”
Power of words
The Bible has much to say about the power of our words, she noted:
- “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
- “But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8
- “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18
- “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” Matthew 12:36
- “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26
- “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.” James 3:6
And Scripture offers seven helpful hints to control our words, she said:
- Get your heart right. Start by studying God’s word. (Matt. 15:18a)
- Weigh your words carefully. (Prov. 15:1)
- Be gracious. (Col. 4:6)
- Listen before speaking. (Prov. 18:13)
- Forgive others. (Eph. 4:32)
- Confess and repent of sin. (Prov. 28:13)
- Speak blessings.
Find On the Journey Conversations at the WMU website and wherever you get your favorite podcasts.