Having grown up with 2 brothers, I had the privilege of playing cricket and badminton during my childhood with my neighborhood friends. Sometimes the ball or the shuttlecock would get stuck in some thick bushes. We would usually end up with scratches all over, when trying to retrieve the ball because of the thorns in the bush. Tiny thorns would get stuck in our fingers and cause a lot of pain. Even after removing the thorn, the pain would still remain for days. It’s strange how a small thorn can cause so much pain!
At times, Words are like thorns- one word or statement is enough to cause pain or even leave a permanent scar in their hearts. A thorn is known to be a weed which interferes with the use and management of desirable plants by contaminating harvests. No matter how good the soil or the seed is, if we sow the seed among thorns then it’s more likely to choke and destroy it.
Our words can be un-fruitful like the thorns. There may be people who are struggling to come up in life, waiting eagerly for a word of encouragement, any kind of nourishment to their spiritual life or emotions. In such times, one word can either build or destroy them. Often, we fail the test when such opportunities arise. We can avoid such failures only if we learn to tame our tongue. There is an Arabic proverb which says- ‘When you have spoken the word, it reigns over you. When it is unspoken you reign over it.’
Words spoken out of high emotions like anger usually lead to cracks in relationships, causing hurt and destroying hope. A few verses that Bible talks about words and the tongue are:
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
Kind words do not cost us anything. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own beautiful image on men’s souls. Let our prayer be like the Psalmist-Psalms 19:14,
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord.
Let us seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit every day to use our words to build, encourage and bring hope, filled with love in others. Be blessed!