“My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”
Power is either helpful or hurtful, depending upon how it is used. For instance, electricity can either hurt a person or help them to power the lights and appliances of a house. If electricity is abused, it can hurt the person who is careless with it. If a person is careful with electricity, they will be able to take that electricity and make it useful to many people.
The tongue is probably the most powerful tool known to mankind. James 3:5-6 says about the tongue, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” Many relationships have been destroyed because of an uncontrolled tongue. Many reputations have been destroyed because of the tongue. Many hearts have been hurt because of the tongue.
The uncontrolled tongue can do more damage than any other weapon, but the controlled tongue can build and help more than any tool. The key is to control what your tongue says. The verse above says, “…my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” This phrase is the key to turning the tongue from a weapon into a tool. The key is to carefully guard everything your tongue says. The key is to be as prepared with what you say as a writer is with what they write. Let me give you a couple of thoughts on how to make your tongue a tool and not a weapon.
First, control your tongue in times of pressure. Many people have said things in a pressure-filled moment that they regretted after they said it. You must not allow the pressure of the moment to stir your tongue to say things you will wish you had never said. In the heat of an argument, learn to stay silent. In times of frustration, be careful about saying what you are thinking. In times of anger, don’t say anything and your tongue won’t become a weapon to destroy. Pressure-filled moments have caused many unwise and hurtful words to be said that have destroyed and brought regret to many people.
Second, be guarded with what you say. If your tongue is going to be the pen of a ready writer, that means that must be careful with every word you say. The best advice I can give you about what you should say in every situation is to slow down and think before you say. What gets mosts people into trouble with their words is that they don’t think before they say; rather, they let their words pour out like a flowing river and say hurtful words which destroy. Guard the words you say as an attorney carefully crafts their statements to a court. If you are guarded with your words, your words can become a tool to help.
Third, never allow your words to become a weapon to destroy. Don’t use words to gossip or to destroy another person’s character. Your words should be tools to build, and you will never build someone when you are gossiping. Be determined to let every word you say to be a tool to help others. It is better never to say anything than to say words that become weapons instead of building tools. Always remember that you can never take back what you say. Once a word is spoken, it can never be retracted no matter what you do to make amends.