A Question of Life and Death

Proverbs 18:21 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (NLT)

Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

Today is my wedding anniversary. Marilyn and I have been married for thirty-four years. During that time I can honestly say that we have had very few fallings out, and harsh words have been a rarity. I am certain that our commitment to honor and respect each other verbally, as well as in other ways, has helped to build the strong marriage we enjoy.

We have tried to raise our five children by example to be careful in their choice of words. For instance, the word stupid is banned in our home. We believe that to call a son, daughter, brother or sister “stupid is potentially damaging. Regularly tell a person that they are stupid and they will begin to believe the lie.

Taming the Tongue

In James 3:1-11 there is some challenging teaching about taming the tongue. James is in no doubt that the tongue can bring death or life. In verses 5-6 he says:

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Yet we struggle to learn from experience, and often forget about the power of the tongue, and the consequences of the words we use. Many years ago I made a flippant comment to the teenage daughter of a friend. We were at the swimming pool and she had a new stripy costume. I casually mentioned that she looked like a bumble bee. It was years before she spoke to me again. Nothing could have prepared me for such a long-term reaction to words spoken foolishly and without thought. Had I commented on how good her new costume looked no damage would have been done.

Be careful little mouth what you say, for death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

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About David

David is the son of Ken and father of Nick, who first introduced him to blogging. Ken is a retired Baptist Minister who continues to preach regularly, despite being in his eighties. Nick is training for full time Baptist ministry after several years serving as a youth pastor. Somehow the being a preacher thing skipped a generation with David. Although half Scottish David grew up in England and in the Channel Island of Guernsey. He served in the British Merchant Navy after leaving school, and did not attend University until he was twenty-eight years old. By this time he was married to Marilyn and father to Nick, and Nick’s brother Michael. Another son (James) was born the day before the start of David’s final University examinations. Beth and John followed a few years later. The older boys are all married, and David and Marilyn have been presented with four grandsons to date. Beth has served with British Youth for Christ (YFC) for three years as a member and then the leader of the Nomad cage football team (Google it!). She has recently taken up a new post involving a new YFC ministry (watch this space). John, who is 18, is now the only one of our children still living at home. David and Marilyn met in 1973 and have been married since 1979. Marilyn is a trained nurse, who gave up nursing to be a full time mother, grandmother, and maker of cakes for pastors, youth pastors, and any church function that needs cakes. There is a rumour that she secretly reads David’s blogs. Family and church leave little time for hobbies, but David enjoys walking and cycling, and listening to music. He also dabbles with languages and is currently learning to speak Welsh. (By way of explanation the Welsh border is 11 miles from David's home, and his water bills arrive in both English and Welsh from Dŵr Cymru.) View all posts by David

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