Words are one of the main ways that we influence people and situations, for good or for ill. The tongue has huge potential to serve the purposes of the Father and bless those around us. And so, at times I am humbled to see how God has used my words to touch others with His power and love. The trouble is, the same tongue also has huge potential to serve the purposes of the Enemy and curse those around us. And so, at times I am dismayed to see how the Accuser has used my words to bring discouragement or confusion.
Jesus said that a good man brings forth good fruit out of the goodness that is stored up in his heart. I have learned that my tongue inevitably reflects what is in my heart. I seem to need to keep learning this lesson. I know that words that bring blessing come out of a heart that is full of God’s grace. In the words of a popular worship song, my goal is to be so controlled and filled by God’s goodness that His character comes out of me “from the inside out”.
We all deal with many concerns every single day. We encounter many people who may affect us in different ways. We are exposed to thousands of influences every day of our lives from friends, workmates, family, television, movies, the internet, and so forth. But which influences do I actually allow to grab my attention? Which ones do I cultivate and allow to affect my heart?
My tongue will ultimately always reflect what is in my heart, and the condition of my heart will be a reflection of the things to which I have given my attention. And so I have a choice. The more I allow myself to be distracted from the presence and goodness of God by other concerns, the more distant I become from Him, and the more my heart becomes dull to God and vulnerable to being weighed down and polluted by darkness in various forms. In this condition, even when I try to do good with my tongue (give advice, encouragement, or whatever) my words are likely to do as much harm as good. On the other hand, the more I choose to expose myself to the presence of God, the more His Spirit penetrates my heart and makes it soft and pliable and able to reflect His goodness, purity, truth, love and power, and this will be reflected in the words that come out of my mouth.
Am I going to bless or curse with my tongue? Is my tongue going to be a reflection of the Father of lights or the father of lies? The answer to that question lies ultimately in how I decide to use my time. Am I going to devote myself to the pursuit of the presence and goodness of God, the source of all goodness, or will I give myself to things that ultimately really don’t matter? I am more determined than ever to invest my life’s energy in seeking the face of God. What about you?