Impact of our words

54a51-impactofwordsOur words have significant and lasting impact on others. It has the power to break or make a person. We have been blessed and also scarred for years by words spoken into our life. Even though we realize this, sometimes, we are the one who hurt others. This impact gets multiplied when we are in a position where many listen to our words. We are the teachers and leaders in our family, in our offices, in small groups, in churches and so on. Do we realize the impact it can create in others life? do we speak words building up others? or are we trying to take back words after it is too late? How successful are we in controlling the words in our life?

You may have notcied “No swimming in this area!” warnings in sea shores, but people don’t obey it. Instead if the board says “Sharks in this area. Swim at your own risk!” then we get it and don’t even think about getting into the waters. When we realize the impact of a warning, we are more likely to obey. In the below text, James warns us the impact of our words with many examples so that we can realize its significance and are more likely to respond properly.

“1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgement. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”-James 3:1-6
Our tongue the physical representation of our word is like the head gear used to control a horse. We see the powerful animal but the small buckles and straps controls it. Think about a huge ship, it is controlled by a small wheel. How about a devastating wildfire and all the impact it causes, it starts as a small fire. If we just see the bridle, the wheel and the small fire, we don’t realize the potential. When we see the impact we know for sure they make a powerful impact. Inspite of being the simple form of communication, our words can create huge influence. It can be either good or bad. We do realize this and take measure to control what we say. Are we completely successful?
“7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.”-James 3:7-12
We have the power to control all creatures on the face of earth, but we are so powerless to control our own tongue. When we needed to control the most, our tongue gets the mind of its own. We end up saying something impacting others. James affirms that we cannot tame our tongue. When we try to control, it is so inconsistent. We control our speech in front of few and remove the restraint with others. Most of the time the restraint is removed with the people we love. Are we not pretending to be nice for few and making it worse for our loved ones? It is like apples and oranges on a same tree. How long we can go on pretendng? What can we do?
“45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”-Luke 6:45
Jesus said we speak what is in our heart. Now we can understand better why James gave so much importance to tongue. He asked not to become a teacher of word of God when we stumble a lot in our words. Our words reflect the goodness or the evil in us. As teacher, we will reflect this in our words to others and it will influence others. On our own, we cannot fill our heart with goodness and it is the work of God which can do it. King David knew that God can do this when he prayed for a new heart. When our heart is pure and filled with the word and love of God, we will show it in our words and it can change lives for better. Let the prayer of David be our prayer too.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”-Psalm 51:10
Please leave your opinions, experiences and comments on this topic for the benefit of all readers.

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