19th September 2020
“Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!”
James 3:3-5 (NKJV)
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
This may be a gross way to begin a devotion but please excuse the illustration. I washed the car this week and the next day went outside and saw that a bird had ‘unloaded’ (is that a polite way to put it) all the way down the side door of the car as it was flying overhead. My comment at the time was - how can so much stuff come out of one little bird - or maybe it was a really big bird! The words that we speak can so often seem to us to be insignificant. Just a random comment dropped here or there, maybe a snide remark or maybe a compliment that didn’t seem overly important at the time. The reality is, words have an effect on the hearer either positively or negatively (like ‘stuff’ down the side of my car) and we don't always realise what impact they may have once out of our mouths. Someone once said that trying to take back words wrongly spoken is like trying to recover feathers that have been emptied from a feather pillow in the wind. Proverbs tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue and there is fruit that results from what is spoken. (Proverbs 18:21) Today there may be someone who needs to hear that you appreciate them, or a simple word of encouragement. Our words do not have to be profound or clever but rather spoken with a view to build up not tear down, to speak positively not critically or negatively. If you don’t know what to say, it is worth considering ‘What would Jesus say?’ Remember today just a few right words at the right time may make a huge difference in someone else’s life.