Words can be so powerful. Just with simple words one can describe a scene in such great detail that you almost can see a snapshot of it in your mind. Words can also be chosen and delivered carefully for very specific purposes. With just the right words we can encourage, uplift, and comfort. In the same way we can edify, strengthen, and build up one another. Words are powerful.
Each of us can recall times when someone said just the right thing at just the right time. In those words we found healing or renewal or a lift in our spirit. We can still remember those words. In a similar way we each have used our own words to come alongside another in need. The Holy Spirit often nudges and leads us to these opportunities. Our role is to be open to the guidance and to be a willing voice.
On the flip side of all of this, the tongue can also be powerful in negative or harmful ways. James is well aware of the human condition and rightly warns us to be careful with our tongues. Commentary writer Patrick Harden puts it well: “Sins of the tongue are the hardest to avoid.” Just as we’ve all been stung or hurt by words, we too have all stung or hurt others. And in almost every case we have felt the Spirit’s nudge or heard the voice whispering to us to choose a better way. In our journey of faith, may we learn to follow as led and to heed as warned so that we my bring honor and glory to God in all we do and say.
Scripture reference: James 3: 1-5a