Is This the Ultimate Weapon?


Awhile back, I listened as a man recounted the difficulties he was having with his wife and in-laws. I recall there was an attorney and maybe a pastor involved. Allegations of incompetence and misbehavior went both ways, all with the aim of defeating or at least hurting the other party. It was the first public evidence of a family falling apart. Before it would end, there would be enough hurt flung around to poison and cripple the next three or four generations.

And how were those injuries inflicted? Words. Words designed to …

accuse

 

expose

emasculate

deceive

threaten

di   vide

denigrate

diminish

malign

Conquer

crush

curse

confuse

 

isolate

mock

create doubt

insult

 

 

embarrass

intimidate

disqualify

traumatize

strike fear

silence

 

belittle

 

provoke

 

terrorize

cripple

Stifle

  undermine

dishonor

overwhelm

 

Shock!

Overwhelm

 

ruin reputations

mislead

 

Cover of "Independent African American Fi...

Cover via Amazon

Think of it, all that damage inflicted by words. We don’t need cudgels, swords, arsenic, hot irons, boiling oil or submachine guns to punish those who point out our flaws or who simply don’t like us. After all, we each carry the ultimate instrument of destruction right with us all the time.

No conceal and carry permit required. Don’t even need to bring along extra ammo, holsters, or scope sights. It’s operational rain or shine, and doesn’t need priming or spare parts.
James the Apostle put it this way:
The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts … The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell … No man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.
The Bible says a lot about perverse, undisciplined, and hateful speech. Because I was once targeted by a slanderer, I highlighted in orange the passages in my study Bible regarding evil talk. I was amazed; it appeared that a caterpillar bled orange blood throughout that book.
The Book of Proverbs has scores of admonitions against corrupt speech. Here are

English: Scroll of the Book of Proverbs

English: Scroll of the Book of Proverbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

warnings about words gone wrong:
A scoundrel goes about with a corrupt mouth … stirring up dissension … If you are a mocker, you alone will suffer … He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool … The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out … With his mouth, the godless destroys his neighbor … Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing … The heart of fools blurts out folly …

Proverbs 13:3 is a good verse to commit to memory:
He who guards his lips guards his soul, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
Do you have a system that works to help you guard your lips, and thereby guard your soul?

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About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in Families, Finding Truth, Liberty, Sin and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Is This the Ultimate Weapon?

  1. Jerrie says:

    Thanks, Sam. Your comments remind me to keep my words gentle, helpful, and kind so that they reveal Christ’s loving heart through me.

  2. Knowing when to speak, how to speak, and when to remain silent–the marks of wisdom. I wish I had a system to get this right! When I find myself thinking, “I wonder if I should say. . .” it’s usually a sign that I should remain silent. I’m not sure. Err to the side of silence when damage caused may outweigh damage done?

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks, Jason. I think your approach is usually best. If we haven’t said something that is nuts or injurious to another, no harm done. Silence has redeemed itself. And than later, if you’re struck by golden insight, you can quite often return and comment. Err to the side of silence–good words!

  3. Neita says:

    This is so true, Sam, and is urgently in need of being both heard and understood by so large a portion of humanity today. We just watched a program about serial killers, wherein a doctor specializing in criminal psychology talked about how deeply-affected little ones are by what they hear, what they get programmed with by way of words and sights. He explained how constant berating, belittling, insulting, threatening, eroded young psyches and laid groundwork for deep hatred, loathing, and finally, criminal acts against others. He also addressed how our words have the power to cripple children AND adults who look to us for affirmation, guidance
    and encouragement. Those tongues of ours…truly, the most deadly venoms are held in the smallest of vessels. Only God can take away our inclination to use them as weapons of mass destruction. I know. I have lived on both sides of the Book of James’ description of the human tongue….I much prefer the side I’m living on now…that of Jesus Christ.

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