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by Calven Celliers

“A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return.”
(Jewish Proverb)

Words are powerful, the things that we speak can produce seeds of abundance or destruction. It’s no wonder that James said

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 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. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” (James 3: 3 – 12NIV)

 Your tongue has the ability to transforms lives; because of the power that lies in its use, we are reminded by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Church at Ephesus that we must 29 …not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29NIV)

When I read this verse of Scripture there are two points that immediately come to mind: Think before you speak or simply learn to shut up! Pardon my bluntness. Perhaps a more polite way of saying what I mean is to pray the prayer that King David prayed in Psalm 141, Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3NIV)

A great tool for helping to train yourself to think before you speak is to use the THINK acronym:

This acronym is pretty self-explanatory, in as much as it speaks for itself. As you hopefully give this some more thought I want to ask you just one question: Are you a good steward of the spoken word? In other words when you speak, how often do you consider the effect – especially, the potentially lasting effect – your words might have before letting them out? Take some time to reflect, and then if necessary, confess the ways you have possibly abused the gift of words. Some of the biggest regrets I personally have are the unnecessary things I’ve said to people. I would like to encourage you today not to react but instead to respond, and respond only after reflecting on the words you want to say and your intentions first! 

35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12: 35 – 37NIV)


God bless,


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