A recent article in Yahoo! is titled as this:
Iran inaugurates nation’s first unmanned bomber.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has casually named the jet the “ambassador of death.” Hmmmm.
Paradoxially, the Iranian president made this comment: “The jet, as well as being an ambassador of death for the enemies of humanity, has a main message of peace and friendship,”
So I guess in Iran “Ambassador of death” = “Peace and Friendship.”
But I thought about how we have the same diverse potential with the “bombs” in our arsenal. What bombs? The same bombs James talks about in James 3:6 (NIV) “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.”
The Proverbs say it like this:
Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) “The tongue has the power of life and death”
This is the problem with words. Once they are “launched” – they become unmanned bombs of death or operators of reconciliation & peace. Are we sending words that we think are peaceful but ultimately bring death? Are we under the false impression that what we say is helping when it could be hurting?
Jesus told us about the root of this problem:
Matthew 12:34 (NIV) out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
This is why it is so imperative that we surrender our hearts and tongues to the leading of the Spirit. The potential can have lasting effects that are often unintended. You can’t take them back. Ever.
An awesome scripture to pray daily comes from Psalm 19:14 (NIV) “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
A couple of things I’ve learned about some of the strong words you are considering to say:
1. NEVER EVER WRITE THEM DOWN. Don’t email when you’re angry.
2. Err on the side of grace.
3. What you mean is usually interpreted through what the other person “thinks” you mean. Again – never write them down.
4. Harsh words are hard to forget, kind words linger for a day, if that.
5. When you speak to another human – you are speaking to someone made in God’s image. So be careful! (James 3:9).
6. Would Jesus say it?
Maybe that’s why James ends the passage on the tongue with this exhortation:
James 3:13 (NIV) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
Wise and understanding people let their actions do the talking so their tongues don’t do the killing.
Act. Don’t react.