The Power of Speech

            There is a saying that “Talk is cheap.” However, even cheap speech can be powerful. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

            During the time of the prophet Malachi, the Bible records division among the speech of the Israelites. Malachi 2:17 describes the speech that displeased God saying, “You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, ‘How have we wearied him?’ By saying, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.’ Or by asking, ‘Where is the God of justice?’” For these Israelites saw how the grass appeared to be greener on the other side. They decided that it was vain to still serve God because the wicked were arrogantly happy and enjoying life.

            In the middle of John 6, Jesus described how He was the bread of life. Then He said that those who wish to gain life will partake of His flesh and blood. After He mentioned these things, the disciples replied, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” John 6:61-64 then reads, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” When many of Jesus’ disciples heard Him say this, they decided to stop following Him.

            Malachi 3:16-18 reads, “Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. ‘They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.’”

            Ultimately, the people that fell away desired the easy path instead of God’s. When people start to tweak the Bible to match a lifestyle they want to lead, or to make their present life easier, then His life saving truth no longer exists. The premise behind God’s word is to eternally save our souls and nothing else. Through their grumbling over His teachings, those that fell away merely persuaded others to do the same. However, as children of God, our speech is meant to serve by encouraging others toward Him. Will you use your tongue’s power to guide others to eternal life?