I'm going to start this with Scripture and then tell a good piece I read today that led me to this very subject.
3 Now when we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide the whole animal.
4 And consider ships: though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5 So too, though the tongue is a samll part [of the body], it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites.
6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our [bodies]; it pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.
7 For every creature--animal or bird, reptile or fish--is tamed and has been tamed by man,
8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in God's likeness.
10 Out of the same mouth come blessings and cursing. My brothers, these things should not be this way.
11 Does not a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening?
12 Can a fig tree porduce olives, my brothers, or a grapevine [produce] figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.
"With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in God's likeness."
I've read this very chapter over and over and it never hit home until recently just how serious this is. This very verse never hit until lately. Think about it. When we talk poorly of someone, curse, shout or ridicule, we are putting our Lord down! We may bless Him but we still curse Him. How sad is that. Not to mention what we are doing by gossiping, sneering at, ridiculing, etc what that does to a person. Why do we continue to insist on bringing one another; our brothers and sisters; down?
Our tongue is an evil vessel when we do not control it. I'm soooo guilty of having an evil tongue that has started many a fire. This all while being in the flesh, not connected to the Lord. Now I have better control, but still balk at some of the things that escape my mouth. I really believe we all need to remind ourselves daily about how we use our tongue. Keep it in check.
So what brought me to this was a saying I came across today that really touched me. It is sooooo very true. This is the jest of, not the exact wording.
Although a persons reputation may have been repaired, it doesn't take away the fact that people still remember and carry with them, that which brought the scar upon the person in the first place.
So this to me says, control what you say, for you may ruin a person for life. A physical hurt can heal, a mental scar is there forever. Once you have said something you shouldn't have, it's there for good. You can't take it back no matter how hard you try.
Remember to use the "Fruit of the Spirit" when talking and in your actions. Be loving, share a smile, use kindness, love on one another. We never know what is going on in a persons life fully. Don't be their judge, be their friend, or their prayer warrior, or what ever it is that they need. Those that seem wicked, seem dirty, are doing something we don't agree with; need our prayer more than those that we see and know and have befriended. For does it not say in Matthew 5:43-48: But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? 47 and if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don't even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Hmmm, we are called upon to love our enemies. Do we do anything out of the ordinary? Or are we able to live "extraordinary" lives?
Be blessed everyone. Go out there and love on your neighbors, your "brothers and sisters." As I've heard for years; "If you have nothing good to say, then don't bother saying it at all." Boy was that ever good advice. Better to keep the tongue silent than to start a fire. :)