When we cut down or insult another person, what is it that is in us that wants to put someone else down?
Is that the only way we can feel lifted up by mocking others? WWJD?
If we are Christians, even if we think we are teasing, can you picture Jesus insulting his disciples or mocking their traits? Did Jesus ever mock Peter because he reacted too quickly and sometimes foolishly? Those that have an ear to hear know what Peter did in the Garden of Gethsemane.
For those who care, is it godly to insult and mock others for real or imagined characteristics? If God created and the Evil One destroys, whose side are you on when you mock or destroy a person's sense of self-esteem?
There is a fantastic TRUE book which illustrates very well the power of the tongue to build someone up or to destroy them verbally.
It is called "Positive Words, Powerful Results" by Hal Urban subtitled Simple Ways to Honor, Affirm, and Celebrate Life.
Hal Urban was a high school teacher for many years and also taught at the University of San Francisco. He is a well-known leader in the Character Education movement and is in constant demand as a speaker at national conferences and school and community events. He raised three sons as a single father, and now lives in Redwood City, California with his wife, Cathy.
Part One of the book has these telling chapters ...
- Words Make Us Human
- Words Can Change Lives
- Words Can Hurt and Offend
- Words Come from the Heart
- Words are Choices
It is one of the best books I have ever read to explain the Biblical principles presented in excerpt below.
I found this article for your consideration. The article is presented in excerpts...
Here are the Excerpts that Apply Most Commonly
Sins of the Tongue
Much can be said of a person's character by the way they use their tongue. Sanaca once said, "Speech is the index of the mind." Jesus said that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Mat. 12:34)
According to Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." In James 3:6, the Bible says that the tongue is "a fire, a world of iniquity", and James 3:8 calls the tongue a "deadly poison."
As a fool would carelessly play and prank with a loaded gun, so many Christians today do likewise with their deadly tongue. If only we could fully realize the untold damage that we are doing to the body of Christ! If only we could see the full effect of the words we use!
Perhaps a closer look into the Bible can help. God made man, and God made man's tongue, so surely God should be qualified to comment on the subject. Surely God should have some good counsel concerning the use and misuse of the human tongue. Let us consider some sins of the tongue as we find them revealed in God's word.
The Lying Tongue
Proverbs 25:18 says, "A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow." So a lying tongue is a misuse of a deadly weapon. It can be used to harm others near at hand (a maul), a few feet away (a sword), or a great distance away (an arrow). Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), and God said that he hates a lying tongue (Pro. 6:17). All liars will have their part in the lake of fire, according to Revelation 21:8.
The Overused Tongue
Some people sin by simply overusing their tongue. Ecclesiastes 5:3 says that "a fool's voice is known by multitude of words." People think they appear smart by much talking, but the Bible states just the opposite. Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, "Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few." God doesn't like a blabber mouth. You say, "Well, that's just the way I am!" Then REPENT! Confess your sin and repent. Stop justifying your wickedness and ask God to help you repent.
The Swift Tongue
Some people are guilty of speaking too swiftly when they really need to wait before saying anything. God's word says the following in Proverbs 18:13: "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." How many times have you had to "eat" your words because you spoke too swiftly? James 1:19 warns us to be swift to HEAR and SLOW to speak. Why do you suppose God gave us two ears but only one mouth?
The Talebearing Tongue
Proverbs 18:8 says, "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly." Leviticus 19:16 says, "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people. . ." Every Christian has the duty to deny his own desires and seek to edify other Christians (Rom. 14:19; Philip. 2:3). Talebearing runs wholly contrary to Christian edification. Talebearing (carrying and telling tales. or gossip) spreads all sorts of hurtful information around, and Satan uses such information to hinder and tear down God's work. A victim of talebearing, according to Proverbs, is a "wounded" person. God forbid that a Christian should wound another Christian, but it does happen all the time! Some Christians live as though they think God has "called" them to bear tales on other Christians. Many "Christian" newsletters are dedicated to informing the body of Christ on the latest news about someone's ministry or personal life. There are many nice words and phrases used to justify such conduct, but the Bible word is TALEBEARING.
The Cursing Tongue
Some people, Christians included, have a nasty habit of using their tongue for cursing. Romans 3:13-14 says, "Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."
The Piercing Tongue
Another sinful tongue is the piercing tongue. Proverbs 12:18 speaks of this tongue by saying, "There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." Some people have a sharp piercing tongue which Satan uses to offend and insult others. The Bible commands Christians to have their speech dominated by GRACE (Col. 4:6), yet most churches have a few people who use their tongue like a sword to pierce their brethren in Christ.
It was Teddy Roosevelt who said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," but the truth is that if you speak softly you won't need a big stick!
Titus 2:8 commands us to use sound speech which cannot be condemned. Friend, do you use graceful speech which cannot be evil spoken of, or do you possess a piercing tongue? Every Christian's prayer should be, "Lord, make my words gracious and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them."
"For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." (James 3:2)
Copyright © 2001 James L. Melton
Isn't it time for us to grow up and stop getting our jollies from putting others down? How childish is that? What effect does it have on you when others compliment you sincerely about something you do or something you are?
What effect does it have when others belittle you?
Which would you or I rather be remembered for? Building others up or tearing them down?