As I was sitting here brainstorming ideas for a teaching unit on word play, with the essential question being, “Why and how do we play with words?”, I was reminded of the importance…the power of our words. Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat its fruit.” When we are speaking to or about others, we are either speaking death or life to them…demolition or construction…put downs or edification…we get to choose… The bible is chock full of warnings, admonitions, and responsibilities that we have with our words.
One verse in particular that always makes me pause, and even tremble is when Jesus is speaking in Matthew 12:36-37, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Wow…what have I been speaking…what have you been speaking…James 1:26, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”
I for one do not want any part of useless religion. I want Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” I want Proverbs 8:6-8, “Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, and from the opening of my lips will come right things; For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.” I want Proverbs 21:23, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from trouble.” I want Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” I want Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” I want Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
How big is my want to…How big is your want to?