Researchers say that a person can speak several thousand words in an hour, so you can imagine how many words the average person can speak within a day or a week. If you think this is a lot, it’s generally assumed that women speak twice as many words a day than men. Whether it’s because women have way more to say or we have a little more to learn about the art of listening, there can be no doubt that many of us are effective communicators. We’re pretty good with expressing ourselves with words, but we also understand that communication isn’t just about talking. There are other cues and subtle ways to communicate, and intuitively, we’ve mastered reading between the lines. So, with all our finesse in the communication arena, why is it that more of us haven’t learned the secret to moving a situation from desperate to blissful using the power of our tongues?
James 3:3-6(MSG) takes us to school. It says, “A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.
A small bit in the horse’s mouth directs his whole body. This little bit makes all the difference! It’s the same thing with a small rudder on a ship. It steers the whole ship and keeps it on a straight course even when there’s a fierce storm with strong winds. This lets us know under no uncertain terms, that something we think is small and insignificant can have a gigantic effect. God is teaching us this because many of us have missed the small details, and overlooking these details is having a huge impact on our lives.
We want God to bless us in certain areas, and when the blessing doesn’t manifest how, where, and when we expect, we complain that God has not heard us or isn’t answering us. He’s communicating, but with us, that whole listening thing comes into play. We’re not paying attention to what He’s conveying and what He’s doing. We might be expecting Heavenly Father to use words, when He’s communicating another way. He might be communicating through our circumstances, telling us that we’re repeating old habit patterns, and self-sabotaging our progression forward. We fail to see the importance of what He’s teaching us through our situations and circumstances. We don’t appreciate the power He’s given us to make a change in our behavior, and we won’t be committed to use this power the way He has ordained. And because we’re overlooking what He’s conveying, we’re not learning the very lesson that will position us for the blessing we desire most.
God’s Word tells us that He’s a God of order, and this means that we won’t get to graduate if we haven’t learned the lesson. I used to say that I could write a book on what I’ve experienced in my short amount of time on this earth. Would the words I’ve spoken thus far author a book that I’d like? Would the title define the person I want to be? I might think so, but what about those for whom my words have influenced and impacted? You see, we really have no excuse because God has already told us the tool of our power. Jesus Christ taught us how to build a life with our words. He told us to do what he did when he walked the earth, which is to walk, talk, and live by God’s Word.
James 3:3-6 reminds us that it only takes a spark to burn down an entire forest. It only takes one accusing, venomous word from our lips to tear someone’s heart to pieces. If you or I have this in us, and we won’t check ourselves; if we have a heart this very moment that will go there, then we could potentially ruin the blessing God wants to give us. Heavenly Father is looking for obedience in us, so that He can trust us to build a foundation strong enough for a healthy relationship to grow and thrive. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God is a Rewarder, but He rewards those that DILIGENTLY seek Him. As He examines the motives of our hearts, He’s looking to see if we’re diligent to use this awesome power He’s placed in our tongues to build up or tear down.
God tells us in Proverbs 18:21(NKJV), “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” The secret to moving a situation from desperate to blissful is being ever so careful to examine the words we speak. What we communicate has lasting effects, and our tongues are powerful and sharp tools. Through them we can turn harmony to chaos, or we can turn chaos to harmony; it’s up to us! Let’s be committed to speak words that will tell a story of the love of Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father will be pleased with us if we do this. It will prove that we’ve heard His command and have humbled ourselves to obey it and be rewarded.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright ©1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
“The Words I Speak Tell My Story” written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.