Our pastor then instructed us to pass the can back around, each of us removing the dent we had put into the can. We all sat puzzled. We started the can around, attempting to remove the dents and restore the can to its original form. It became apparent very quickly that the can would never be the same as it was before.
Our youth pastor then shared with us from the third chapter of James.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Ouch! I am often reminded of this visual image of the damage our unkind words can cause. Once said, they impact others, changing them in some way. Yes, we can ask forgiveness and many times receive it; but those words may still ring in the air at times. Those words have changed someone. During times of struggle and doubt, those unkind words can surface in the back of their minds.
As women, we wield great influence over our families through our words. We can choose to encourage, cheer on, and gently correct; or we can resort to nagging, criticizing, and complaining. This is a daily choice that has eternal impact. This choice often reflects our priorities. Are we focusing on self or on serving God and others?
Our tongues are untameable in our own strength. May this instrument that is so often manipulated by Satan, be used to bring glory to God as we praise Him and seek to edify others. Because our words do have the power to change people, may the change be one that brings hope and honors Christ!
See you tomorrow for "Fit Friday."