One thing I have learned over the years, is that if I say something like, you should try and forgive someone, then I may be tested to see if I do what I say.

Last month I was talking about the heart, and forgiveness, and not carrying around hurts like rotten potatoes.

Well as a result of a meeting recently, I was tested, and was in a position where I was hurt by what some people said, and was in a position to carry around those hurts like rotten potatoes, or let them go. What I did discoveris you can not let them go while the hurts are raw and new. During this time though is a testing time. When I was in hospital for a procedure recently, I chose to have a sedative. This came with a warning, that I couldn't drive, or make any important decisions for 24 hours, until the sedative hard worn off completely. I think there is an interesting parallel here with hurts. If we are hurting, it is likely the decisions we make during this time will not be the best, and will ultimately hurt us or those around us. We need to wait long enough for the hurt to calm down, before we are are back in our right minds, then we can make a clearer decision on how to handle the situation with a level head. It is only after this point that we can put those hurts, the rotten potatoes down, so they don't weigh us down.

This leads me nicely into today's thoughts. Our Words have such huge power, we very often under-estimate their effect.

The words we say, will do one of 2 things. They will either build someone up, encourage them, help them, re-assure them, and could even release them from past traumas. The alternative is careless words can destroy another person. It can ruin their day or week, or may even lead to a catastrophic life change. Like the bible says in Proverbs 18:21The tongue has the power of life and death.

Let us choose life and healing, not death and destruction.

It is one of the things I love about praying for someone, you have a real opportunity to help someone, first by listening to them, which is a release anyway, then by praying for them. One of the components of lifting someone up in prayer if they are in your presence is to lift their spirits by the words you use in the prayer. It isn't only the Lord who hears our prayer, it is the person we are praying for, and carefully chosen, but true and loving words can have an instant impact. What greater gift than being able to listen, help, encourage and lift someone's spirits up. Changing someone's day for the better.

Lets take some time now to think about the power of the tongue, and its ability to give life, lift someone up, to help someone and to show caring. Lets discuss this with our Father in Heaven, and think back to times we have seen some ones face light up because of what we have said to them.

Now lets spend some time thinking about how damaging and hurtful careless words can be. We have all been there. Even though I try and be very careful what I say and how I say it, there are times I just completely miss the mark and hurt someone. To all those some-ones, I am very sorry. All we can do is try. Why not take some time now to discuss with our Father how hurtful and careless words can effect others.

We can see the words we use effect individuals around us. It is also true for groups of people, maybe even more so. The bible asks us to try and live in unity with one another. To guard against divisions in the Church, which can so easily grow over a careless word, or gossip. Churches have often been divided even by people who dearly love the Lord and are honestly trying to do what they think is right. In a Church of 100 people, there are 100 different ways of being right, because all of us look at the cross from a different place, which is formed from our Journey in life to this point.

Lets spend some time now thinking and praying about how we can heal hurts in our Church. How we can gel together better? Is there somewhere we need soften our point of view such that we don't suffocate some one else's point of view?

Please could we spend some time praying for healing and unity in our Church, Mount Zion, that we may grow together and nurture one another, but most of all praise and honour our Lord Jesus Christ and our loving Father in Heaven.

Lord Jesus, please guard our mouths from hurting others. Please help us to build others up and encourage one another like you ask us to do in your Bible. This we cannot do without your help. Please give us the words we need to use to help each other, and honour you and our Father in Heaven. Lord please heal us where we are hurting. Please heal our Church where it is hurting. Please open our eyes to the effect our words have on those around us. Most of all, thank you that you teach us about the power of words. Help us to win the fight for you with our words. Please Lord will you help us to choose only healing and blessing words. Lord Jesus, thank you for hearing our prayers. Please bless your Church here in Cliviger. In you precious name we pray, Amen



Bible reference to the Tongue and Mouth:

1 Peter 3:10

10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

Colossians 4:6

6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Ephesians 4:29

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Proverbs 10:19

19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.

Proverbs 15:4

4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

Proverbs 15:28

28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

Proverbs 17:9

9 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

Matthew 15:11

11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

Proverbs 21:23

23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

Proverbs 26:20

20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.

Psalm 34:13

13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.

Psalm 141:3

3 Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Titus 3:1-2

1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

Proverbs 18:20-21

20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 17:27-28

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. 28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.

Proverbs 12:6-7

6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. 7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm.

Proverbs 12:13-14

13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk, and so the innocent escape trouble. 14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward.

Proverbs 12:18-19

18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Proverbs 15:1-2

1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

Psalm 119:171-173

171 May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. 172 May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous. 173 May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.

Proverbs 6:16-19

16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Proverbs 18:1-8

1 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. 2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. 3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes reproach. 4 The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream. 5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice. 6 The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. 7 The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. 8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.

James 1:19-26

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

Psalm 52:2-9

2 You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor. 3 You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. 4 You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue! 5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent; he will uproot

you from the land of the living. 6 The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at you, saying, 7 “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!” 8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. 9 For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.

James 3:1-12

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 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.

Proverbs 26:17-28

17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own. 18 Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death 19 is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” 20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. 21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. 22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. 23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. 24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. 25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. 26 Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. 27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them. 28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.