“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” Ephesians 4:25

Words are the most powerful weapons. A word is a sound or combination of sounds that express a meaning & forms an independent unit of the grammar or vocabulary of a language. Words combine and form language. The words we speak affect the world around us. What we say, and how we communicate with each other has lasting results. The words we speak can give life, hope, and love. Or, they can bring death, division, and destruction. Proverbs 18:21

The Destructive Power

Death and Life are in the power of the tongue. That is why we are to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. Throughout the Bible, words are taken seriously. In the old days, the ancient Hebrews regarded these little oral sounds in utterly concrete terms. They believed that to speak a word was to create a unit of energy with powers all its own, and then let this loose into the world. For example, in Psalm 147, a word is pictured as “running swiftly through the world.”

That is a sobering thing to realize about the words we speak. Once words pass from our lips they have a life of their own, and we can no longer control where they go or what they do! The tongue has a destructive power. Since the tongue is so efficient at causing damage, it would be good for us to spend some time examining some of the various ways the tongue can damage or injure.

Warping the Truth

The most common way in which the tongue can hurt is through gossip. To gossip is to say negative things about a person when they are not present. It can also involve the telling of a truth that does not need to be told for the purpose of hurting someone.

We may not gossip but we do promote gossip by simply listening to it. Remember, there can be no gossip if there are no listening ears. Gossip is destructive. It spreads uncontrollably. It’s also destructive because it warps the truth. People expand on what they hear until the rumor gets worse and worse.

Practice Truthfulness

A local church body cannot be healthy if lying too is a common practice among its members. Ephesians 4:25 says, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

When we don’t put away truthless-ness people become afraid to reach out. They become afraid to move because they don’t know whom to trust. We have to be able to trust one another here if we are to continue to enjoy the health that is in this place.

We need to ask God to empower us to use our tongues in ways that will help and not hurt. We should make it a regular practice to pray the words of Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight Oh Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.”

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Rev. Dr. Joel Patrick is currently working as the Associate Professor in Communication at Bishop's College, Kolkata.