What kind of fruit is your tongue producing?

What kind of fruit is your tongue producing?

I don’t know how many of you have noticed, but does it seem that an awful lot of people are talking problems, theirs or others, and there’s not a whole lot of folks talkin’ positive, let alone about real, solid solutions?  It’s so easy to talk smack, denigrate others, let out frustrations vividly, but that never helps to make the situation better, does it?  If anything, it makes things a whole lot worse!

Recently, I had yet another occasion to witness the damage words can cause by folks not paying attention to, or not caring, what they’re saying out loud, this time in a work environment.  The situations are still a bit in flux, feelings were hurt, people got into trouble, work flow was interrupted, and although I think everything will be ironed out with a minimal amount of real damage, it brought home the fact that our words are powerful.

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 18:21 that death and life are in the power of the tongue and they who love it will eat the fruit of it.  That’s not terribly reassuring, depending on which side of the proverb you’re on.  If I’m speaking death (negative words), I’m in BIG trouble!  What I find interesting is that an honest-to-goodness king is aware of the power his tongue has over any given situation and is willing to write about it and warn others.  Of course, he was the wisest of kings, so I guess God knew that was one thing we needed to be advised of.

James warns us again in the New Testament (James 3:6) that our tongue is a fire!  Well, THAT can’t be good!!  It may be a small member, as he says, but it can act like a rudder on a ship or a bit in a horse’s mouth, and head you in an area you may not want to go.  And he goes on to say that we speak blessing to God, yet curse our fellow men and women that He created.  Not good at all!

fireObviously, there is a bit of a disconnect when we communicate with each other everyday.  We must somehow become more aware of the things we talk about, share with others, comments, jokes, frustrations, etc.  Paul is pretty clear in Ephesians 4:29  “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”  Even though we’d like to do whatever we want, and in the last 20 or so years we’ve become more self-centered in that regard than ever before, that isn’t what we were created for.  God had a better plan and it entails, drum roll please………..loving one another — enough to where we care about how we communicate with others and really speak the truth in love.

Now, I have to say, it’s not easy to do — especially in the society we live in today where God is mocked, Christians are made fun of, every song on the radio has a cuss word, or five or ten or twenty … or worse.  People are so afraid to interact with each other that they have turned to talking in texts on their “smart phones” or on social media.  But, for those infrequent times that we actually do talk to a live person, try to pay attention to what goes on in your conversation.  Do you hear them demeaning themselves or others, are they acting prideful, do they curse or speak in sensual or sexual overtones, or with obvious disregard for others as if their life is more important than their friends or co-workers, family members.  Are they basically negative?  Do you find yourself agreeing with them or speaking in the same way?  If so, maybe it’s time to read up on the tongue and find out just how God thinks your “talk time” could be better spent.  It might be a time to survey the intents of your heart as well.

And this applies to conversations in social media too.  I’ve seen the most horrific stuff on Facebook and Twitter.  Would you REALLY say that if you were in front of that person?  If so, you need an attitude adjustment, for reals, seriously!!

You know, this world may not last a whole lot longer, you might meet your Maker today, or tomorrow, or in a week or a month.  We have no guarantees as to the length of our days.  Only God knows that little detail and He usually doesn’t share it because He knows we couldn’t handle that responsibility. That said, do you really want to meet him having just blasted someone for taking your toothbrush?  Or not doing the dishes because it was their turn, darn it!? Or would you want your loved one to have to bear, for the rest of their lives, the memory of an argument, a stupid disagreement, as the last conversation you had?power of the tongue

Let’s try to pay attention to our words this week, this month, for the rest of the year, and see if we can’t shine a little light into our world.  Our words are powerful and also creative, just like God’s are.  Perhaps we can create some good things to happen just by ordering our words to be laced with encouragement, positivity, and life.  We have that power..in our tongues.  Let’s speak life for a change, huh?  What d’ya say?