What is Sharper, Your Sword or Your Tongue?
By: Amanda D. Kramer
“…..and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
-Ephesians 6:17b NIV
“For the work of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
-Hebrews 4:12 NIV
The Bible tells us in Ephesians chapter 6 verse 11 to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (NIV). Part of the armor that is described in the verses that follow talk about how our Bible, the mighty word of God, is the sword of the Spirit. Hebrews describes it as being alive and sharper than any double-edged sword. So the question that comes to my mind is how are you using this “weapon” that has been given to help you stand against the “devil’s schemes”? Are you using it as a defensive or an offensive weapon? Are you standing firm or are you attacking?
Too many times I have seen Christians attacking both other Christians and non-Christians, but their weapon is twofold; they are using the words of their sword, usually incorrectly, and combining with it another weapon so many people forget our body has, the tongue.
“We stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, set the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
-James 3:2-6 NIV
What are you doing with your tongue? Are you setting small sparks that starts a mighty fire? I happen to live right next to a forest and every year they burn a part so that if a wildfire does get out of hand it will have nothing to burn close to our houses, keeping us out of danger. You always know when it is that time of year because you can smell and see the smoke for miles. When you actually look at what is burning though, they do not have a blazing fire just enough to catch the grass and trees of a small area smoldering with embers. When you look out after they are finished you would think that a mighty blaze had gone through because all of the trees are burned and blackened not just at the bottom, but all the way up and what I like to call the “damage zone” goes on for miles. We don’t realize that this is also what we sometimes do in our churches. Many people have done this and it starts out so innocently. You see a brother or a sister who is doing something that is out of order, and then instead of going to them in love you end up beating them up with the Bible. In turn they are turned against the church and all they have learned that it stands for. We push them away and they walk out thinking that the church is filled with nothing but hypocrites.
We do the same thing with non-Christians. We go around telling them everything they are doing wrong and beat them up with the Bible. Either that or we tell them what it is like to be a Christian and then do something to completely mess up what our words say. For example, the person that screams out Jesus loves you on their bumper sticker and then flicks you off after they believe you have cut them off in traffic.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
-Matthew 7:1-5 NIV
Before we try to witness and help anyone, Christian or not, we must first do what Matthew 7 tells us. We must first judge ourselves. We must get rid of the sin in our own lives and stop looking like the hypocrite that everyone already thinks we are. We forget the love of Christ and we forget how that love changes us. So I ask you today, how is your Christian walk? Does it match the talk that you give? Each day you need to remember not only what God did for you, but we must remember the relationship that we have with Him. Once we work on our relationship with God, then the relationship that we have with others will begin to fall in line. When we walk with Him daily and read His word, refreshing our mind in the process, we will begin to live out what is there because it is what we are taking into our lives. Then as it becomes the way of life for us the love that we give out will begin to affect those around us and we will be in a better position to help our fellow man.