January 19

                There has been much talk in the news of late about weapons and the need to control their usage. I am not here to argue the merits for or against such a position, but I would like to bring to everyone’s attention the most lethal weapon known to mankind.
                It is not a very big weapon, but it has immense power to destroy – families, reputations, lives.
It is not an explosive weapon, but it can pack more force behind it than just about anything we can think of.
                It weighs only an ounce or two, but that’s enough to be deadly, and almost anyone can use this weapon.
                Its effects can be felt long after it has been “fired.”
                I am talking, of course, about the tongue.
                The tongue is one of our best tools to communicate with one another. The problem arises because the tongue is definitely a double-edged sword. The words that roll off our tongues can be used to lift people up, inspire them, and give them hope, but they can also be used to tear people down and make them feel like dirt.
                James has much to say about the tongue. In James 3:8-10, the author says, “…but no human being can tame the tongue – a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, but with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.” (RSV)
Gossips love to use their tongues; they figure that what they’re telling people is important information, and the more people who know it, the better. Gossips are also, sadly, a dime a dozen. It takes people like Dr. Martin Luther King to use the tongue to inspire people, as he did during the civil rights marches in the South. His words still echo today, and his dream of racial harmony, though still unfulfilled, is one to which we should all aspire.

                The tongue is small and has no bones, but it is powerful. Therefore, we should follow the example Dr. King and others have set and choose our words wisely.

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