The Power of the Tongue. By Coretta Talbot
HEY THERE, IT’S YOUR GIRL CORETTA!!! I trust all is well and that your day has been just out right FABULOUS or if it’s just getting started, the same would be true. Either way, my hope is that you will forever keep pushing and know that your life matters, more importantly, that God loves you and I do toooooooo 🙂
The Power of the Tongue
As one who strongly believes in the power of the tongue, I want to take the time to further express my thoughts on this topic. I’m sure you have at least heard this quote once in your life: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words would never hurt me.” Or maybe you didn’t just hear it but you were like me and believed it. As a kid with my tongue sticking out while saying it and wait, I can’t forget about the gestures and attitude to go with it, it was my come back line that I used whenever someone actually did say something that would hurt. Well, I’m so thankful that with age comes wisdom because the older I became the more I stopped quoting that and accepted the fact that WORDS DO HURT. I would even go as far to say that they hurt worst than “sticks and stones.” You see words travel directly to the core of our existence. They go to our head (our mind) and go for a dive into our emotions, which influences or actions. They impact our lives tremendously. The tongue is the vehicle that transports our words around and our words are like seeds planted in the ground.
What Does the Bible Have to Say About this?
The bible actually has a lot to say about the tongue and the power that it has. However, I want to focus on 2 scriptures in particular.
“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 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! 6 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 entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, [c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”
So, all these verse are important to the topic at hand but let’s pay close attention to the lines that I have bold. James points out how the tongue is a fire and the evilness of it. The word goes on the state that no human can even tame the tongue and that blessings and curses flow from the same mouth. However, the story doesn’t end there because James presents a challenge in verse 11 when he mentions that those things shouldn’t be so.
After reading and digesting the above verses, I was left with the thought that we must push and value the idea to choose what we are going to allow to flow from our tongues. Now, I could go on and converse about how what is in our hearts relate to this thought as well, but I will save that for another post. Moreover, this all ties in well with my second scripture,
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits”
This verse is also the theme verse for the Coretta Speaks Life Campaign. You see God knows we are imperfect, let only our “tongues,” yet we don’t have to be discouraged because we can do this. We can SPEAK LIFE, even on our worst days. Even when it comes down to the words of others over our lives, we have power in how that also will affect us. One of the greatest empowerment speaker’s that walks this earth, Dr. Brenda Caldwell, from Memphis Tennessee has a phenomenal prescription to combat this. When the negative words of death come our way, she would encourage us all to say, “I DON’T RECEIVE THAT.” Trust me, those few words are really powerful and can drive away that negativity before it even catches root in your mind, which leads me to one of my final points on this topic.
How do the Words We Speak Affect Our Brains?
I was grateful to come across a dynamic article from Psych Central by Therese J. Borchard. She did a great job at breaking down the question presented above.
The article states:
“According to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, words can literally change your brain. In their book, Words Can Change Your Brain, they write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”
Positive words, such as “Peace” and “Love,” can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain’s cognitive functioning. They propel the motivational centers of the brain into action, according to the authors, and build resiliency.
Conversely, hostile language can disrupt specific genes that play a key part in the production of neurochemicals that protect us from stress. Humans are hardwired to worry — part of our primal brains protecting us from threats to our survival — so our thoughts naturally go here first.
However, a single negative word can increase the activity in our amygdala (the fear center of the brain). This releases dozens of stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters, which in turn interrupts our brains’ functioning. (This is especially with regard to logic, reason, and language.) “Angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes,” write Newberg and Waldman.”
O.k., are you still here with me? I trust so!!! Let’s bring this bad baby on in. My final thoughts on this topic are left to say, we must choose to SPEAK LIFE. We have to learn and work at developing an appetite for positivity because it seems like leaving it up to our human nature, just won’t cut it. The people we hang around, the music we listen to, the places we go, and even on down to the types of food we eat. All those things play a BIG role in SPEAKING LIFE. Most importantly, we must turn to God (our creator) and ask Him to help us. We must meditate on His word and remember what it says about us. He promised that he would give us a clean heart and a right spirit within. Just like we well should be courageous about being successful in other areas of our lives, we have to be just as courageous in this area. It’s an everyday process, trust me I know. Keep in mind that SPEAKING LIFE also applies when it comes to speaking and thinking of you. What you see when you look in the mirror and the words you speak over your life are very important. Those who struggle with low self-esteem may find this challenging but don’t worry, your best days are yet before you. YOU CAN DO THIS, WE CAN DO THIS, LET’S GET TO IT AND DO IT!!! 🙂
Lastly, don’t forget about what I mentioned from Dr. Caldwell. When those negative words come, especially from others, remember to say: I DON’T RECEIVE THAT!!!!! My goal is to further elaborate on topics such as low self-esteem in posts to come in order to better empower those who are victim to such things.
Again, this is your girl Coretta kicking it in the Coretta Speaks Life Blog Lounge. Until next time remember: LIFE & DEATH IS IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE ….CHOOSE TO SPEAK LIFE!!!!