On any given day we encounter either the written or spoken word. It’s quite amazing to consider the power of something so intangible. Proverbs 12:18 says, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” That’s easy to understand. Healing words come from wise people and hurtful words from those who are not so wise. At least, on the surface…that’s the way it seems. However, I think we all know that at one moment or another we have all been “unwise” by way of Proverbs 12:18.
Unfortunately, wisdom is not a constant universal in our lives. Rather, it is a multitude of decisions we make on a “moment by moment” basis. It seems that from “decision to decision” we swing like a pendulum from wise to unwise by the declaration of our tongue. The bottom line is that our tongues are powerful. Perhaps it is best said in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
As someone who is in the public eye I know what it is to be praised by some and hated by others. You’ll get no complaints from me. The truth is, there is truth and falsehood in both our admirers and our detractors. One need not walk on the moon to understand that no man is either all good or all bad. At the end of the day…none of us are all that different. We are dust made alive by the precious breath of God. From dust we came and unto the dust we shall all return. It’s true that we often like to think of ourselves as a little less “dusty” than others, but…let’s face it…we’re dust balls alive upon this earth but for a while. We truly are a vapor in the wind.
With life so precious, short, and cherished, it gives us pause to wonder how “brief dust-balls” have decided to spend so much of our time judging others – using our tongues to slice deep into the feelings of others. Each of us has been blessed with a tongue and within each tongue there is great power. With great power comes great responsibility. With the tongue we can give hearts wings to fly, or pierce them with arrows that send them to falling to the ground, wounded and shamed. Every time we open our mouths to speak we become somewhat like a living character in a young boy’s favorite comic book. There is always a hero and there is most certainly, always a villain. When you speak today…which one will you be?