Updated: May 29, 2019
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].” Proverbs 18:21
Words have incredible power for good or evil! Words can be spoken that lead people down a dark path or inspire them to mount up with wings like eagles. Our society has never been so filled with 'words' as we are today with ready access to broadcast our thoughts and ideas on the internet. In my lifetime, I have never witnessed so much hatred and venomous talk against others, especially those who have a differing viewpoint. We should not take this trend lightly! The Bible says, "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh." The old childhood adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me," really isn't true! Words have more power to destroy than sticks or stones ever could! James has a lot to say about the tongue as a source of blessing and cursing. In James 3:4-12, he describes the power of the tongue to direct the course of our life, and compares it to a restless evil, full of deadly poison." This is a time for Christians to speak from their hearts and show the world the love of the LORD Jesus, which is the answer to the hatred and negativity that is infecting our world.
I just posted Part 5 in the "Teach Me Words of Life" series, entitled "The Venom of the Serpent." This lesson is taken from Psalm 140, a passage that I have turned to many times over the years when facing accusations and slander. It offers a clear picture of the reality of warfare generated by the power of the tongue but also provides us with a prayer strategy for protection and victory in these battles. As I looked up the meaning of the words in the Hebrew that were used in this passage, I was reminded of the power of words, spoken for good or evil in a person's life. Evil words are compared to the bite of a serpent. This point really hits home when examining the power and effect of a bite from a venomous snake! The viper referred to in this passage is the most deadly of all poisonous creatures and its venom has the capability of causing intense pain and suffering, paralyzing its victims and results in death if one is not administered the anti-venom.
While it is true that the words spoken by the enemy cannot hurt us if we are under God's protection, we must not be naive to their potential effects and handle these situations casually!
See "Teach Me Words of Life Series" (Part 1: The Power of the Tongue 1370; Part 2 The Power of Blessing 1371; Part 3 Diseases of the Tongue 1372; Part 4: Curses and Cursing 1375; Part 5 The Venom of the Serpent 1376)