Ellen Martin | @ellenmartin03
Something I struggle with on a daily basis is quickly saying something harsh or something that I don’t mean. I find that Christians, myself included, can be so quick to judge and criticize the behaviour of others. We need to remember that everyone is messed up somehow and we all need love and grace.
Proverbs 13:3 says “The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Further, Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
The tongue is a powerful thing. It can be used to build one another up, or tear one another down. We need to guard our tongues. It is so easy to say something that could hurt others. We hold the power to either make someone’s day better or worse.
Proverbs 11:9 says “With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.”
When we see someone stumble, or when we see someone who seems to be “less” than us, are we quick to think we are better than them? Are we quick to have a thought we shouldn’t have? Do we go as so far as to say something we shouldn’t?
Jesus told a parable to those who thought highly of themselves:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” (Luke 18:10-12)
As Proverbs 11 says, we are able to destroy our neighbour with our tongues. This Pharisee thought he was better than the tax collector because tax collectors were the “least” in society at that time. The Pharisee did many works, but the tax collector realized he needed God’s grace.
We all need God’s grace. So who are we to speak against others, tearing them down? When we speak the grace of God into people’s lives, we are encouraging them to seek Jesus. Speaking harsh things is not loving your neighbour; it’s thinking highly of yourself.
Are you speaking life into others, or are you tearing them down with your words? We are all sinners, only saved by grace. Instead of thinking and saying hurtful things and considering ourselves better than others, I encourage you to recognize that we all need encouragement as we seek the Kingdom of God. God gives us the peace we need to show love and grace to others. Our words are powerful. Use them carefully.
Ellen Martin is a follower of Jesus Christ from Ontario, Canada. She is currently completing her Master’s of Education degree. She is passionate about apologetics, creation, and children. You can follow her on Twitter at @ellenmartin03.