There are some different variations of that quote, but it is still something we should consider.
I like to have fun. I like to joke around. But sometimes we have to consider what we say to people. What we say can have an impact on someone.
God spoke and life was created. God spoke and the dead came alive.
James says that the tongue is a powerful tool.
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire. And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the whole course of life, and set on fire by hell.” James 3:5-6 ESV
How many people’s lives have been shipwrecked by words? How many lives have been destroyed because someone told them over and over again they weren’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough? How many lives have been ruined because they gave up due to the constant drum beat of “you’re no good.”
Or at the other end of the spectrum - how many people have had it beat into their heads that they are better than everyone else? They don’t listen to anyone else, because they have an overblown view of themselves? They look down on those who don’t measure up to their standards. They don’t want to have anything to do with people whom they deem “not good enough.”
Ecclesiastes 7:16, 17 “Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?
Do not be overly wicked, Nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time?”
Ecclesiastes 7:21, 22 “Also do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. For many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others.”
What we think of ourselves has a lot of bearing on how we act. If we think of ourselves as no good, we start to behave that way. If we think that we’ll amount to nothing, we stop trying. If we think we are better than everyone else, we start looking down our noses at everyone else. If we think we know everything, we stop listening to others, but demand others listen to us.
What we say to people and how we say it takes a lot of discernment. What we say can build a person up, or it can tear them down. Things we say can build up a person’s ego, or help them see the truth.
Following the Spirit’s lead can be a tricky thing. We must empty ourselves and allow His guidance on what we say, and how we say it. That can be hard if we let ourselves get in the way.
Also, we need to learn to let GOD be the final arbiter of who we are and who others are. Remember, for God so loved the world.
May we all learn to discern.
Love Jesus. Eat cheesecake. Listen to Pink Floyd