Let’s face it: our tongue gets us in trouble more often than we like to admit. There is a verse in the Bible that says: “No human can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Wow, it is almost like the tongue is a snake getting ready to strike.
Why do you think people have such trouble thinking before they speak? I heard a man the other day trying to be funny and inadvertently insulted a lady he did not know. He meant it to be a joke but you could tell she was not amused.
The times when the tongue gets us in trouble:
- Boasting about ourselves, our plans, accomplishments, or our possessions.
- Using humor inappropriately.
- Talking down to other people.
- Speaking in anger or rage.
Our tongues get us in trouble when we forget who God is, who we are, and the value of other people. The moment we elevate ourselves above God or others, we do terrible things with the tongue…terrible things that cannot be taken back, and tragically we can “justify” every word we spoke.
Speaking harshly to someone is like driving nails into a board. You may be able to remove the nails, but the scars remain. Next time you are tempted to give someone a tongue-lashing, ask yourself:
- Is what I am about to say true about the person or situation?
- Is this going to help or hurt my relationship with them?
- Am I speaking out of anger or jealousy?
- Am I speaking in love?
We need to rethink what we are doing and count the cost of “getting it off our chest.” Spewing vile things may feel good at the moment, but the devastation that occurs is sometimes fatal to a relationship. You can ask for forgiveness, but the words will continue to haunt you both and it will never quite be the same.
Remember that everyone has their breaking point. Don’t be the one that pushes someone so far that they break. You will regret that for the rest of your life and be left to lament what could have been.