“And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:6–11 ESV)
Whatever doubts I have about the “literal” application of Scripture don’t apply to these verses.
These are quite “literally” true.
All of us walk around with wounds inflicted by the words of others that are barely covered by the thinnest of scabs.
It takes little…even one careless word from someone else… to rip open a 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, year old cut.
At that moment we become the age we were wounded once again.
We relive the pain and trauma anew as if it were delivered for the first time.
The fact that the knife was wielded from behind a keyboard does not dull the impact.
The world of social media has opened up new opportunities to inflict pain on many more people…we have become biblical serial killers.
We never have have to see the blood or tears in the aftermath of our actions, we simply close the browser and carve another notch on the handles of our cyber pistols.
Those we murder only die inside and present themselves as targets again the next day.
I bear some of those word wounds from days when they were no computers and social media involved simply being part of a family or another group.
Some of those wounds are fifty years old and have never fully healed.
They never will.
I’ve also wounded others and they bear scars from my words.
This led me to wonder how many words it takes to heal these hurts.
It only takes a few to do the damage…it may take millions to make it (kind of) well.
Brethren, these things ought not to be so.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue”
Make your own application…