Language is an interesting tool that has been defined and refined over the centuries. We have spoken languages, written languages, and signed languages, all in uncountable dialects. Even within one country, even one city, we can find it difficult to understand another person’s way of speaking. We have coded languages for computers… that may well be the most universally used language of all! 

Jesus warns us about our language on several occasions. “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’  But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” – Matthew 5:21‭-‬22 NLT

And again, James talks about how damaging our words can be: “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.” – James 3:5‭-‬6 NLT

Many, if not all, of us know firsthand how hurtful words can be. We may have grown up hearing how stupid or ugly or worthless we were. We may use sarcasm as a mechanism to hurt others. If you are in a relationship where words are used in a hurtful manner, you may need to rethink WHY you are with that person. For much of my life I used sarcasm as my “second” language to deflect how worthless I felt. Think about how you say things. I struggle constantly with my mouth to combat the biting tone and disrespectful words I use as a defense mechanism. When we speak, the goal should be to uplift someone, not to cut them down. Mom used to tell us ” If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything.” Someday, I will stand in front of God on His Judgment Throne and be chastised for all of my words that were far from good. 

Here’s the thing: we have to submit our tongues to the LORD. He alone can tame our mouths, and we don’t have forever to ask for His help and forgiveness. I do know this: “The LORD isn’t really being slow about His Promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” – 2 Peter 3:9 NLT

I’m really thankful He was (and is) patient with me. 

(All scriptures quoted from

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