The Bible tells us “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs [18:21]). That means a lot is at stake in what we say today. And in literate societies like ours, tongues include hands that write, type, paint, or sign.
Tongues of Death
People die because of things that aresaid. Tongues can be weapons of mass destruction, launching holocausts and wars. Tongues can also be the death of marriages, families, friendships, churches, careers, hopes, understanding, reputations, missionary efforts, and governments.
Tongues of Life
But people also live because of things that are said. The tongue can be “a tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4). Tongues can reconcile peoples and make peace (“blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9)). Tongues can make marriages sweet, families strong, and churches healthy. Tongues can give hope to the despairing, advance understanding, and spread the gospel.
The Heart Moves the Tongue
It will all depend on what’s filling your heart. Jesus said, “out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks” (Luke [6:45]). A critical heart produces a critical tongue. A self-righteous heart produces a judgmental tongue. A bitter heart produces an acerbic tongue. An ungrateful heart produces a grumbling tongue.
But a loving heart produces a gracious tongue. A faithful heart produces a truthful tongue. A peaceful heart produces a reconciling tongue. A trusting heart produces an encouraging tongue.