Death and life are in the control of the tongue.
Those who indulge in it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21, TLV
It Wasn’t Me! Just so you know, I did not choose today’s verse. The Holy Spirit — via YouVersion — picked our passage. So, any conviction and uncomfortableness from the following is not from me, I am the messenger. And, just so you know, I am greatly convicted and uncomfortable, too.
I used YouVersion’s meme today because it illustrates that death and life are also in the words we write, as well as the words we speak. Since the rise of the printed word, that has been the case. Now, with social media, rather than a few hundred who might see our words, hundreds of thousands could — even millions.
Writing words because we can’t speak them directly makes it too easy to forget our responsibility. The written word has always carried a certain amount of authority. Take my blogs. You, as my readers, assume I will be responsible and respectful with my words. That I won’t lie or exaggerate — exaggeration is also a lie.
The moment I abuse that authority, I leave myself open for a higher form of judgment. Really? Yes. Yeshua’s half-brother wrote a powerful chapter on the effects of words. He begins this chapter with a warning to leaders:
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, since you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. (Jacob (James) 3:1, TLV)
In the last few months, I have had to block people from my social media. Not only strangers, but people I have known for years, who have forgotten that abusive words will have repercussions. It breaks my heart. At a time when the forces of darkness are growing, those of the light should be uniting to become brighter and more relevant to this hurting world.
Today, let’s guard our tongues. Edit our words. Use the delete key. At the very least, pause and listen. Because, I have a feeling the Holy Spirit is using His words to warn us. Let’s take heed.