The true story is told of a pair of Michigan robbers who entered a record shop nervously waving guns in the air. The first one shouted, “Nobody move!” When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.

Many people treat their mouths like loaded guns, as they frequently “shoot them off.” Due to the pain and injury it can cause, one should be extremely careful with a loaded gun. Likewise, due to the pain and injury it can cause, one should be just as careful with a loaded mouth.

The Bible teaches us about the problems our tongues can create. James 3:5-10 reads, “So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.” And, James was right. We ought not use our mouths the way we often do, yet we do it still. So, how do we make the change?

Starting today, let us focus more attention on the things we say. Are the words we use beneficial? Do they serve a purpose that is good? Does our language encourage those around us? Instead of allowing our words to be destructive, let us be productive with our speech. Rather than tearing one another down, let us use our tongues to build one another up.

Kevin’s Komments is written by Kevin Patterson and presented by the Sebring Parkway church of Christ assembling at 3800 Sebring Parkway, Sebring, FL 33870. Find them on the internet at www.sebringcoc.com, or e-mail them at sebringparkway@sebringcoc.com.