[notice]A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan[/notice]
An old cowboy saying goes like this “It is very easy to take a cat out of a bag but it is not so easy to put the cat back in the bag” and so it is, when we use careless words. In this day and age we need to really be so careful of how we talk, of what we say, because it can have tremendously detrimental effects on not only people, but on the way forward for our own lives. In the Book of James 3:6 (NKJV) we will see that the Lord says, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”
The tongue is truly an unruly object and that little spark is quite capable of starting a forest fire. Now being a farmer, I can really understand that example because it just needs one match to start a massive fire. So we need to be so careful of what we say and how we say it. If we want true wisdom, it comes from one place only, from God Himself. Why? Because He is the creator of heaven and earth and because He knows all things.
If we look at John 1:1 (NKJV) it says quite simply, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” We find a very similar Scripture in Genesis 1:1 (NKJV) the very first verse in the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So whatever we say or whatever counsel we give to others it needs to come from one place only and that is from God’s Holy Word. If we quote God’s Word people will even think of us as being wise. Let us start to measure our words more carefully and we will find that we will cause less trouble and we will have more success not only in our lives but in our businesses and in our relationships.
A friend of mine sent me a wonderful saying the other day. “Knowledge is to know something, but wisdom is to know when to say it or when to withhold it.” I think younger folk, in their enthusiasm, (which I love by the way) tend to speak before they think and they end up getting themselves into trouble. There is an old saying that goes like this “Your words better be sweet because one day you might have to eat them”. As I am growing older I am starting to say less and to listen more. Words can be life or death depending on how you use them. They are extremely powerful.
Napoleon Bonaparte, in his time, ruled the world. He was the Emperor of France, and also the commander of the greatest army in the world. He always said he feared the 26 lead soldiers more than a great army. The 26 lead soldiers refer to the 26 letters of the alphabet used in the printing of newspapers. He was always very wary of newspapers and what was written in them and the power those words wielded, concerning public opinion.
We need to be careful how we speak because we can also cause damage by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. I want to encourage us all to exercise Job 28:28 (NKJV) which says, “…the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’’ So let’s seek the Lord and think before we speak, so that we can really help each other.