Our words, all of them, bear significant consequence in our lives, and the lives of those around us.
"In the beginning was the Word… all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:1; 3).
"His Son… upholding all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:2-3).
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21).
"Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).
Little wonder that the Psalmist pleaded, "Set a watch, o Lord, before my mouth. Keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3). We were made by One referred to as "the Word." He sustains our very being. Our tongue possesses the capacity to kill, or to make alive. And we shall answer for the words we speak, all of them. The course of our lives ebbs and flows in accordance with the words in our hearts, and upon our tongues, including our very salvation - "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9-10). True faith involves both utterance and belief. "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh… Let the redeemed of the Lord say so" (Luke 6:45; Psalm 107:2). All this being true, we must make the matter of words a subject of paramount importance in this and in every day.
I was reminded of this the other day when Frances reminded me that my negative utterances about problems with my smartphone were not in accordance with the Truth I believe, and the Lord I serve. She chided me very gently, but her challenge penetrated into my heart. "Every idle word..." declared the Lord Jesus. "Death and life..." warned Solomon. "Set a watch… keep the door of my lips" petitioned David. Our words matter, again, all of them. No genuine expression of love, faith, praise, and affirmation of God and His truth fails to impart life. Nor does any complaint, falsehood, innuendo, slander, or disparagement of fellow travelers in a fallen world fall to the ground without harm or consequence.
I find these words difficult to write because too often I have found my words divergent from the truth they express. I must join David, "Set a watch, o Lord… keep the door of my lips." Just as importantly, "Lord, be merciful to me. Heal my soul. For I have sinned against Thee" (Psalm 41:4). I trust the Lord will faithfully respond to both pleas, and in the matter of words, I very much hope to respond more faithfully respond to His leading and enabling in this and in every day.
"The tongue of the just is as choice silver… the tongue of the wise is health."
(Proverbs 10:20; 12:18)