Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Tongue is a Fire

The Word says in Proverbs 18:21 that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Death and Life!

It's easy to understand how the testimony of witnesses, sentences of judges, doctrine of teachers or the spin of today's media can bring death or life to themselves or others. What about someone like me though? I'm just a regular person living a regular life. I work, come home, spend time with family, go to church on Sunday and start all over again on Monday. Could my words have as much power?

Yes. The Word is speaking of the tongue, not one's realm of influence. These verses convict the tongue as a thing capable like fire to destroy our world and us.

Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 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 3:5-6

Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; yes, your own lips testify against you. Job 15:6

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 the mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

Wow! Let's dab our brows and move on to the life part.

The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. Psalm 37:30-31

The tongue of the wise promotes health. Proverbs 12:18b

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life. Proverbs 15:4a

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23

That I should be equipped with such a device is fearsome. In my body, this instrument, a force wielded and empowered by what is contained within my own heart!

God says the heart of man is wicked and can't even be known. So if I can't even know what is in my own heart, how can I guard what proceeds from it? What shall I do? Thankfully, the following verse gives me the answer:

With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:10-11

God has given me His Word! I think I will fill my heart up with His heart; with His word. I can trust Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

If I truly want to be an instrument in God's hand; If I want to speak life and not death, it will be my passion to lay up the good treasure of God's Word in my heart.

Father, give us a mighty hunger for your Word. Exchange our wickedness for righteousness. Let the words we speak be full of life and grace and mercy. Remove the power of any deadly word gone forth from our hearts. May all glory and honor be Yours alone.

Note: My favorite Bible study tool is e-Sword.


  1. i really enjoyed this post
    i like how the ideas flowed and how you used scripture.


  2. Thanks Nancy. This was a toughy. There was sooo much scripture on the subject it was hard to narrow it down to just these few!

  3. Oh, Lorrie! This is one of my favorite things in scripture. We just do not realize what the words of our mouths can do to others, negatively or positively! This was a great post. Excellent job, Lorrie! Thanks for reminding us all to, as Barney Fife would say...Take a lock! Blessings to you, my sweet friend...Lynn

  4. Ole' Barney ~ love Mayberry! Thanks for your comment Lynn, really appreciate you. It's amazing - the power of words. I think one could make a whole blog on that subject alone!
    Blessings back at you :-)

  5. Lorrie, awesome post. We NEED to be reminded all the time! I am with Lynn: this is one of my favorite subjects and I like the prayer in Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you".
    Great post Lorrie and remember, when in doubt...
    "the more you talk, the more likely you are to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet" (Proverbs 10:19) :)

  6. Marja, thanks for those extra verses!!! They really top things off nicely :-) I always appreciate your input!

  7. Great post. Thanks. We were just Twittering on my love of Psalm 19. So, I'll add to this post, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight oh Lord..."
    On Twitter: @judyrey

  8. There's power to create things prophetically in the tongue as well. (ie, Ezekiel prophesied to a field of dry bones, viola! Army!)

  9. Jonathan, you are so right! Thanks for your input :-). Love your blog - talk about powerful words!