The Power of the Tongue
I was not looking forward to a recent visit to the dentist to have a filling replaced, but God turned this visit into an opportunity for me to have a Kingdom discussion with the dental assistant. He told me how important it is to have good oral hygiene and that the health of our mouths can impact the health of every area of our bodies. Holy Spirit quickly showed me how this conversation about the physical body could be applied to the spiritual realm.
When I returned home I researched what we had spoken about on "webmd" and "absolutedental.com." The sites confirmed what the dental assistant had said about the importance of oral health. The mouth is called "the gateway to the body," and because of this, "Poor oral health can have negative consequences for the entire body." "Absolutedental.com" says this: "Bacteria from the mouth can easily get into the bloodstream and cause infection and inflammation wherever it spreads...The following health problems can be caused by poor oral health: cardiovascular disease, dementia, respiratory infections, diabetes, pregnancy complications, infertility, erectile dysfunction, cancer, kidney disease and rheumatoid arthritis." Honestly, I was completely surprised by this extensive list.
Spiritual good health for our mouths is just as important as physical. What comes out of our mouths will impact all aspects of our being, and that of others, for good or evil. There are over one hundred Scripture verses in the Bible that give us direction on how to use our mouths. The book of James dedicates most of Chapter 3 to the subject of taming the tongue. "The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." (Verses 5-6) "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." (Verses 9-10) As we see, our words have the power to bring life or death to our own souls and to the souls of others.
The power of our tongues is confirmed in the fact that we are made in God's image and that with His words, He created the universe. "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth." (Psalm 33:6) Learning that our mouths can be used to bless or to curse, King David asked the Lord for help in controlling it in Psalm 141:3. "Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."
The book of Proverbs has much to say about what comes out of our mouths. "The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips a snare to their very lives." (Proverbs 18:7) "A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction." (Proverbs 16:23) Matthew wrote, "What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them." (Matthew 15:11) Paul understands the ramifications of what comes out of our mouths and how it affects others: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29) Jesus warned about the judgment day and said, "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:37)
We must recognize the power we carry to bring about good or poor health in our bodies and souls and those of others. As I have told you before, whatever kingdom we agree with impacts us and those around us in a positive or negative way. The Holy Spirit can and will assist us if we ask Him for help in controlling our mouths. Let this be our prayer: "May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)
Joan E. Mathias