Prayer for the day
May God be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of his countenance and come to us. Let your ways be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations.
Scripture for the day
Ah, the tongue. It can be an incredible blessing, and it can be the instrument of incredible evil. “The pen is mightier than the sword,” it has been said, and truer words were never spoken. Words are powerful, and the way we speak them is powerful. The power of words resides in the heart of the person who speaks them.
The Psalmist recognizes the power of words. He regularly contrasts the tongues of the wicked with the speech of the righteous. The words of the wicked are words designed to entrap, designed to be a snare to the righteous. The words of the wicked are full of lies and deceit, full of every kind of evil that will be a stumbling block to a person trying to keep her way pure.
The words of the righteous, in contrast, are words that are life-giving, words that seek to bless instead of curse, words that seek to build up instead of tear down. They are words that lead people to God, words that lead people to the way of the righteous.
Paul has a few words to say about tongues too, though his definition is a touch different. Paul is concerned with the way the gifts of the Spirit are used in the church, and claims that while tongues is certainly important, and sits among the top of the gifts of the Spirit, the true test of whether a gift is being used well is if the gift is used for the building up of the body of Christ. It doesn’t matter, in reality, what the gift is, so long as that gift is used to further the kingdom in unity and in love. Paul is clear that the gifts come from the Spirit, and ought to direct us to that Spirit.