Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What are you saying

What are you saying?
James 3: 7 – 10 / Proverbs 18: 21 / John 14: 30

Have you ever heard someone say, “They put them in the grave before his time?” Most recently, that phrase came to mind the week that comedian Bernie Mac was hospitalized for Pneumonia. Days leading up to his demise, various media headlines already proclaimed the well known comedian/actor dead. Yes, it was true that Bernie was very ill from his previous diagnosis of Sarcoidosis, but at that time Bernie was still alive and breathing.
Imagine if the media headlines read, “Hold on Bernie, we’re praying for you” or simply words of encouragement that would have given the comedian/actor to strength to fight. What if? Could it have been possible that Bernie would have lived another day, another week, another month, or another year? Or miraculously, another decade? Unfortunately, we’ll never know the answer to this question, because now, the well known comedian/actor has been laid to rest.
I often wonder can our words change the heart of God in certain circumstances. Christians pray often for a curse to be reversed in the lives of others as well as their own or for God to move on behalf of ourselves or another to make right a wrong situation. As we live, we do see the hand of God right our wrongs and restore what fails and ails us to that which is right. We’ve seen & heard people on their death bed being restored back to complete health, we’ve seen our sons and daughters that have been incarcerated or on drugs making a complete turn around in their lives and walking and living for God as a result. The thoughts come to mind, could the words of the world prompted God to continue this path for Bernie. If we would have changed our thoughts, our words, to that of faith and that of life, could Bernie, a man that has brought many of laughs and smiles (whether godly or not) to the lives of the world, been extended, turned around and used for the glory of God. Could it have been used as a corporate miracle for the entire world to see that the true and living God does still exist and perform miracles? Did we ourselves Kill Bernie Mac?
I know it sounds funny to hear or think about, but Proverbs 18:21 amplified version tells us that,
Death and Life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge
in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
The Message Bible version puts it:
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.

So what is it that about the tongue, this small organ that has the ability to cause a world of trouble for us? In the natural form when it is healthy, you’ll find that it is pinkish in color:
The tongue serves as an organ of taste, with taste buds scattered over its surface and concentrated toward the back of the tongue. In chewing, the tongue holds the food against the teeth; in swallowing, it moves the food back into the pharynx, and then into the esophagus when the pressure of the tongue closes the opening of the trachea, or windpipe. It also acts, together with the lips, teeth, and hard palate, to form word sounds. 1
When a tongue is diseased the natural color has the ability to change. In its ugly form, that tongue can be deadly. I t can take on the shape of a sharp knife, it can cut, it can hurt, it can destroy lives, it can discourage, it can judge, it can condemn, it can lie, it can blaspheme, it is like fire that can burn, it can curse, and it can kill. Again I remind you:
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.
In the spiritual, the tongue can be used to encourage, edify, to praise God, to worship God, to pray to God, to love, to heal, to bless others and to give life.
What are you saying?

Passage James 3:2 Amplified 2
For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.
An African Swahili Proverb states: “Better to stumble with the toe than with the tongue.”
I know that there are many of you that have stumbled on a piece furniture around the house and stumped your toe or toes throughout your lives and it hurt like something awful. Imagine that pain. It doesn’t compare to the stumbling of the tongue.
Although Jesus gave us word to “Be perfect as He is perfect”, none of us in our fleshly, earthly bodies are perfect. We have not yet reached the goal of becoming perfect despite the command.
Throughout the days of our lives we have become a very opinionated society. When we see things out of place or that appears to be wrong to us, we immediately begin to judge and voice our negative opinions regarding the matter. Rarely will we make an active attempt to help those that we’re ridiculing to correct the wrong and help them on their way. We allow them to be the butt of many a joke to bring a false sense of humor to our menial lives.
Think about the wayward youth that has just crossed your path. The one that never seems like they will never be able to get it together. In your eyes, their future is seen as running in and out of jail or on the street corners up to no good; they’re headed straight for hell. You look at the teenage pregnant mother that has one child pulling on each of her legs and shake your head in disgust. Your eyes look at her as if you are calling her every name in the book, but your heart is hiding the fact that – that could have been you because you were headed down that same road just a few years back before you got yourself together. Not taking the time to even find out if her situation is a case of extreme promiscuity or familial sexual abuse that she had no idea how to get out of.
Think about your words. Have your words encouraged them to trust God, or have they helped them to do what’s right? Have they blessed someone, declaring or wishing favor or goodness upon others? Or did you allow the words formed from your tongue to dig the first dirt that puts them right into the grave; pronouncing a death sentence on their life? Be honest with yourself for a moment - Have you ever caught yourself saying, “They’ll never be nothing; they’ll end up just like their father; they’ll follow their mother’s footsteps and be a crack head before they finish high school?” Cursing them. The Bible dictionary defines a curse as “A prayer for injury, harm, or misfortune to befall someone.” James 3 reminds us that we are to bless others and the Blessings and cursing should not come out of the same mouth.

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.
What are you saying?


Shanita Waters said...

Preach! Amen. Thanks for the reminder. I never even thought of the situation with Bernie Mac that way. Definately food for thought.

Shawn Jones Harris said...

Thank you girlfriend. I'm getting use to this blog thing.