Two snakes were crawling along when one snake asked the other, “Are we poisonous?” The other replied, “You bet we are!! We’re the most deadly!! We’re rattlesnakes. Why do you ask?” To which the first replied, “Because, I just bit my tongue.” That bit of humor has more truth in it than one might think. Yes it’s good for a laugh, but whether a snake can poison itself, I don’t know, but I do know we can poison ourselves with the bite of our own words.
It appears that many people don’t know their words produce consequences. But if we discuss this issue honestly we will have to admit that words can hurt, kill, disappoint, discourage, encourage, and even build up. Denote, the wrong words can damage a relationship or destroy a reputation and create all sorts of ill-will. And the flip side of the issue is the part we most often forget, which is, the damage that our own words do to ourselves.
Deceitful and lying words can destroy our very own reputation. And when we are braggadocios we may well lose the respect of the people we are trying to impress. Also, if we make promises and do not fulfill them we cheapen ourselves. Our words will portray us as a self-centered person or as someone who is respectable and trustworthy.
The words we speak can do far more damage to ourselves than to others, for we are known by our words. The truth will always prevail: “Oh generation of vipers (poisonous snakes), how can you being evil speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks!” (Matthew 12:34). Just as the bite of a rattlesnake can kill us, so can poisonous words take us down. Ironically, the unlikely person most at risk is quite often the very person speaking those venomous words. He kills himself in the process. This gives us a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Bite your tongue!”
All I can say is that we should be very careful with what comes out of our mouth because we could be killing ourselves as well as someone else. Ask yourself, “If in this new year someone paid me ten dollars for every kind and edifying word I spoke while at the same time they also collected five dollars from me for every harsh or unkind word I spoke would I be rich or poor at the end of the year?”
I’ll admit, some people are just too talkative. They are like the young man who supposedly went to the great Greek philosopher Socrates to learn oratory. On being introduced, he talked so incessantly that Socrates asked for double fees. “Why charge me double?” said the young man. “Because,” said the orator, “I must teach you two sciences: the one is how to hold your tongue and the other is how to speak.”
A young father testified: “I said a very hurtful word the other day. It was truly a hurtful word I did not mean to say. But then it was not really lost, when from my lips it flew; My little child picked it up and now he says it too.” We have one mouth and two ears for a reason. For more info you can visit us at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.