With our words we can make friends, or make enemies, cause people to listen, or cause them to turn away.  For example, You can walk up to someone standing by their motorcycle and say, That is sure a nice bike, tell me about it, and most likely they will thank you and tell you all about it.  OR, if they’re not too big and you’re brave enough, you can tell them that it’s an ugly piece of junk, but not quite as ugly as they are.  That of course will not likely end well.

Proverbs 18:21 says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Depending if you are at Sturgis around a bunch of Hell’s Angels, or if you are in a parking lot somewhere ,  you words may literally make or break you.  But if you want a conversation with them, you should choose your words carefully.

I’m speaking primarily to Christians here: We are supposed to be ambassadors for Christ Jesus.  We all know most people are not open to you just walking up to them and start preaching the gospel.  But there are doorways, and the key to those doors are our words.  If you happen to be a motorcyclist, you already have something in common with them, and that is YOUR love of motorcycles.  That can open a door for the Gospel, IF used properly.  But at the same time, we should not lose sight of why we are there in the first place, and that is to share the gospel with them.  It’s far too easy to let the focus stay on motorcycles, or other worldly and fleshly small talk.

Now that rule also applies if you are a car enthusiast, or you like to go to auctions, or flea markets, or craft shows, or fishing, or whatever.  As many different hobbies and activities we can get involved in, there are at least that many doorways to preach the Gospel, but we must look for them.

It’s been said that we have two ears, but only one mouth, and there’s a reason for that.  We need to listen twice as much as we talk.  That means even more that we must choose our words carefully, as we don’t want to waste our words on unprofitable things.

Far too often our tongue is used for wrong things, even if we claim to be serving Jesus.  Maybe we may be hearing “gossip” about someone, and passing it along to a brother or sister, in the name of “knowing how to pray for them”.  That can be dangerous territory, for it is written in Proverbs 6:16-19:

16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

It’s amazing how much damage a small thing like a tongue can cause. Even as a huge forest fire is started by a single spark, families are often divided by one sibling speaking behind another’s back about another family member.  Don’t you know, no matter how “godly” you think you are, if you’re doing that, you’re doing something God absolutely HATES!   Look what James chapter 3 has to say:

2  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3  Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4  Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Knowing that the tongue is untamable, and set on fire by hell, if we are not EXCEEDINGLY CAREFUL, we can do a lot of damage with it.  And EVERYONE, no matter who you are or where you are, have been hurt by things people say.  So, how do we know what’s best to speak?  There’s a simple qualifier in Philippians 4:8,

8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

But yet here is something else to think about: Even if what you’re saying about another is true and honest, do you really need to be saying it?  Ask yourself that!  It is said that love covers a multitude of sins.  We are supposed to be spreading LOVE, not gossip.  There’s a saying, “I never repeat gossip, so you’d better listen close the first time.” Well, for men and women of God, we’d better not be repeating gossip at all, even if it is true and honest, because it certainly is not pure, or lovely, or of a good report, and there is no power of the Gospel in it either, to win others to Christ Jesus.

The power of the tongue is amazing: it can build up or destroy, win a soul to God, or turn it away.  Today, your tongue will wield it’s power once again, as it does every day.  Do something different today: ask yourself, WILL GOD RECEIVE GLORY BY MY WORDS?  Your words may make an eternal difference to someone hearing them today.  Choose them very carefully!