Use of words

“Come, let us strike him with the tongue” (Jeremiah 18:18) said the fellow tribesmen and the contemporaries of Jeremiah, the prophet because he spoke what they did not want to hear. “Come, let us strike him with the tongue”, a thought, spoken thousands of years before any of us, announced ourselves on this earth with our first baby cry. And we think that the world started with us, and that it will end with us, but from the prophet’s Jeremiad we can see that the striking with the tongue lives as long as people live on Earth

I really cannot find the right word to clearly enough describe the seriousness, the importance, and the harmfulness of the human language. I, too, sometimes, yielding to the levity, and ease of all sorts, resort to, and say unnecessary, unwise, harmful words. Therefore, what follows is a caution to me as it is to others

Human language is divine. That is the gift we received from our Creator so that we are different and separated from any other creature of His. However, the language is a challenge as much as it is a responsibility. Doesn’t Lord warn us that we will give account on Judgement Day for every word we spoke. By our words we will be justified or condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37

And I want to point out the ease of speaking the wicked words. We condemn a person without hearing him/her out and we sully him/her without any evidence; easily and irrationally we speak grave and harmful words and he/she carries a stigma without even knowing; he/she eats and drinks with us and maybe thinks well of him/herself and of us, while everyone sees what he/she is not, but he/she doesn’t know they think he/she is that. By the time it is somehow realized and revealed that what was said about him/her was not true, it is already too late. He/she cannot wash him/herself enough to completely restore his/her purity

This unparalleled tarnishing of us, as a nation, we feel with pain in our souls, and we know that if the truth ever came to the surface it will not be powerful and clear enough to clean the dirty river of lies that splashed us

That is how, I suppose, because of that light and irrational use of words, the words of human language became worn out, stale, and faded. They don’t carry the weight anymore that bound and constrained

In fact, our words bear more witness to who we are and what we are than those of which we speak our testimonies. So that Christ could scold us as He scolded His contemporaries: “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good when you are evil?” and then He would tell us that “out of the abundance of heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” (Matthew 12:34-35

The purpose of my words is firstly a warning to myself, before anyone else, I repeat, and then to others to be very careful; as our people like to say: “measure thrice before you cut once” before we say one word that would no longer be ours and cannot be taken back or tamed

As wise Solomon said: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21) We interpret this in many ways. Our poet said: “A word too strong killed me.” We should be careful to not kill with strong words, so we don’t suffer forever with the murderers in hell

As much as we have the tendency to easily handle words, Lord will apply His measures when He judges us by our words. When the wise Solomon lists all the things that Lord hates, and that are abomination to Him, half of those things are related to words. “A lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-17) are equal before Lord. “A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers are an abomination to Him.” (Proverbs 6:16-19

So, let’s be warned and let’s come to our senses. Let’s understand that words can cure (Proverbs 12:10) and that “a gentle tongue is a tree of life”, but at the same time tongue can be like “deadly arrows”(Psalms 64:3) and is “sharp like razors”(Psalms 52:2) Let’s hear our wise Solomon when he says: ”Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore, let your words be few.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2)