By Luann Prater
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18 NIV
In 9th grade, I signed up for shop class where I learned welding and woodworking with bandsaws, circular saws, drills, and all things that drew blood.
The flame shot from the torch and ripped one piece of metal apart then seamed two others together. The power of a small concentrated fire was lethal, yet mending. Whoever controlled the flame, controlled the outcome.
We have a little flame. It rests inside our mouths. Our tongue.
Ellie was a beautiful young woman who played the violin masterfully. At a weekend retreat, she danced the bow across the strings to deliver a heart-stopping rendition of Amazing Grace.
As she stepped to the microphone she quietly admitted, “I typically hide behind my violin. When I was a senior in high school, my dad left us on Christmas Day. Before he left, he said I would never amount to anything. This weekend your encouraging words have shown me that Christ says I am priceless.”
Ellie understood whoever controlled the flame, controlled the outcome.
We can fire up and encourage a withered heart or torch it with a careless word.
Sometimes I forget the power I wield with my little flame. I snip back at my husband’s comment. I snap at my child’s decision. I judge my friend.
Maybe I’m not alone. If this is an area of life where you long for God to help you gain control, be encouraged, He has made a way.
I saw a plaque while shopping with my girlfriend that read:
Lord, put an arm around my shoulder and a hand across my mouth.
We laughed at the saying but realized how desperately we need His Almighty reminder.
Isaiah 50:4 tells us, The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
As I prayed this prayer the Lord snagged my heart to understand the power of my words and how they can also be a mending balm that heals. Ellie found that balm from strangers who spoke encouraging words into her life.
Would you like to join me?
I’m making a decision to ask God to waken me each morning ready to be taught. Teach me not to react with torch-splitting heat but instead recognize weary souls that need to mend with an encouraging word from my lips.
Whoever controls the flame, controls the outcome.
Dear Lord, remind us each day to use our tongues to glorify You and encourage others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2021 Luann Prater. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Wednesday, 14 April 2021.