Oct 132017

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21 ESV)

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:6–11 ESV)

Whatever doubts I have about the “literal” application of Scripture don’t apply to these verses.

These are quite “literally” true.

All of us walk around with wounds inflicted by the words of others that are barely covered by the thinnest of scabs.

It takes little…even one careless word from someone else… to rip open a 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, year old cut.

At that moment we become the age we were wounded once again.

We relive the pain and trauma anew as if it were delivered for the first time.

The fact that the knife was wielded from behind a keyboard does not dull the impact.

The world of social media has opened up new opportunities to inflict pain on many more people…we have become biblical serial killers.

We never have have to see the blood or tears in the aftermath of our actions, we simply close the browser and carve another notch on the handles of our cyber pistols.

Those we murder only die inside and present themselves as targets again the next day.

I bear some of those word wounds from days when they were no computers and social media involved simply being part of a family or another group.

Some of those wounds are fifty years old and have never fully healed.

They never will.

I’ve also wounded others and they bear scars from my words.

This led me to wonder how many words it takes to heal these hurts.

It only takes a few to do the damage…it may take millions to make it (kind of) well.

Kind of.



Brethren, these things ought not to be so.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue”

Make your own application…

  17 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. Michael

    Good words and true. Even worse, “…the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.” I’ve watched it, I’ve experienced it… pray God that I never participate in it…

  2. Duane,

    Amen and thank you.

  3. maybe Francis Chan was onto something…Crazy Love.

    and a host of others who have called family, friends, foes to love…absurdly, contradictory, repeatedly.

    As Someone wiser than us all said, more than once, ‘let him with ears hear.’

  4. Let me use this article to express my regret and ask forgiveness of the good men and women of this community for the insensitive or hurtful comments made from my keyboard.

  5. another side of this coin is that we have a tendency to hear (read) what we want to hear – our ears have filters also…

    we have an old cat (it’s TGIF) that is his own man… you can insult him, the vet taking his temp is very offensive… but it’s on you, not him… he just sticks his little cat nose in the air looks down on the offender and gives you the look… (how he does that from a lower position i don’t know, but he does)… those of you who are old enough and remember the TV character Fonzie, then you get this little old cat Axle… maybe we need a smile here today…


    my point is? most of us humans don’t have that self assurance (arrogance of a sort, i guess)… most cats don’t either, i guess

    God give us the grace to see what You see – what You died for…

  6. Good words…..great reminder!

  7. When I think back on my life, I am more stricken by things I have said to others than things that have been said to me. I can easily brush off bad things said to me. I can barely remember them. But mean things I said to people when I was 12…. I remember those.

  8. I still have deep wounds from words (and non-verbal abuse) delivered to me in my late teens and 20s. You know what? Most of those wounds were caused by people who should know better…believers. Not only does it bring me back to when those wounds occurred, as Michael stated, but those memories also seem as though the event just happened yesterday. It’s no wonder I have such a struggle trusting and making friends with fellow believers, and having openness to new fellowship opportunities and attending church.

    Those events sucked, and oftentimes I hate those people who did these things. Years ago I was a walking anger factory. But through some prayer cleansing by myself and with others, I was able to truly forgive and let go of most of the anger.

    Until today when I was triggered again. The pain resurfaces and I have to re-forgive.

    No, in my case, what others have done to me rings in my mind much clearer than those things that I have said and done to people. I can say that I have probably said things to people that have hurt them, and I am most likely totally unaware that I hurt them.

    This post Michael, was very timely for me.


  9. I confess to being much more inclined to think as Dan does than as Denis does… it has been an interesting journey learning to pray (and mean it) for enemies…

    This is another really good TGIF – soon be time for another one of Michael’s books?

  10. Who is Denis? Xenia! Stupid tablet, Xenia! Didn’t catch the auto correctll check again

  11. May I submit the thought that God might grant us the grace to forgive as we have been forgiven? Perhaps we’ll be able to look upon those who attempt to harm with their tongue, and see their brokenness, rather than allow ourselves to be broken?

    Just a thought…

  12. I hear you Dan

  13. #11- Jim, for some reason, you reminded me of David’s declaration/prayer to God saying, against You only have I sinned… that declaration always puzzled me since Bathsheba’s husband was dead, thanks to David….
    Sent me off to read Psalm 51 what a prayer!
    I owe you, Jim as I received a big blessing reading it just now… ☺

  14. Well, your response somehow led me to Psalm 42, so we’re even. 🙂

  15. Thanks JoelG!

    Em, I do remember some of the abuse I’ve leveled on other people, but at times it seems like the pain I have received at the hands of others is more front and center. There are times, though, I wish I would contact the few people I recall hurting and ask their forgiveness. I really hope the became overcomers.

  16. ooops, “would” should be “could” as in “I don’t know where they are”, and I hope “they became overcomers”.

    Enough covering my butt now. I encourage those with loads of hurt to become overcomers.

  17. If only I could reel in my careless words as easily as I cast the line and hook.

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