Let your mouth not be a quiver of unkind words (verbal darts), nor your tongue a bow that looses arrows
(accusations) against the brethren. The enemy is not the brethren; even though the enemy at times attempts to
occupy territory and operate in the camp of believers. If we must speak a discerning word to a brother (in
Christ), let that word be one of encouragement and forgiveness, for "mercy triumphs over judgment" (Jas. 2:13).
"For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned" (Mat. 12:37) ... the
power of our words far exceeds our understanding of how they operate in both the natural and supernatural
realms. Christ in the previous verse (v. 36) allows us to know in advance one of the consequences from our
words, i.e., "idle words", "... that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the
day of judgment" (Matt. 12.36).
Words are the brickwork and building blocks for our thoughts and form the foundation upon which our
thinking is organized and held accountable. The words 'we own' and the thoughts they compose can either
build a strong base for righteous thinking or they can relegate us to a shifting and unstable platform for
communicating worldly values (see Rom. 12:2). Silent words (thoughts) of judgment or condemnation towards
another can be just as injurious, if left unrepentant, as spoken accusations (see Mk. 7:21-23). One can sin silently
in his heart without ever speaking a word (see Matt. 5:28). Man's heart is inseparably linked with his thoughts
and words (see Matt. 9:4) and as every tree is known by its own fruit (Lk. 6:44), and a prophet is recognized by
his fruit (see Matt. 7:15,16) ... so then, is man known by the fruit of his lips (see Heb. 13:15).
Advice we all would do well to heed resides in Eccl. 5:2, "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in
your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few". A
prayer we should pray each day is found in Ps. 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my
heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer". The admonitions given above are
doubly incumbent on those in positions of Church leadership ... a vagary uttered by a Church leader to or about
a general member can and often does generalize to the entire body!
"Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set
on fire by a small spark ..." (Jas 3:5). If we do not allow the Holy Spirit to be the steward of our heart and the
gatekeeper of our words and thoughts, then that which springs forth from the inner man is of the flesh and not
from the indwelling presence of Christ Jesus. If there are strongholds in our thinking, past words of
unkindness or unspoken forgiveness in our hearts, now is the time to place all unrighteousness on the altar
before the Lord and repent of any wounding words or thoughts we have issued toward others, knowingly or
by default. As knowledge increases in the days to come (see Dan. 12:4) let us not stand on the warrants and
guarantees of man ... but know, "The Word of the Lord is proven ..."(Ps. 18:30), "His Word is right and true"
(Ps. 33:4) and "His Word stands forever"(1 Pet. 1:25).
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin