"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21
It comes as no surprise there are so many verses in the Bible that talk about the tongue. As a symbol, it is the thing that gets most of us in trouble. This organ is used when we engage in the power of death; gossip, swear and lie. Now to the tongue's defense, it doesn't operate independently but is an unwilling participant to what is in our hearts and minds. So even if we went to the extreme of having our tongues removed, we still have the condition of our hearts.
The tongue is also used for good things, those things that are the power of life. In response to our hearts, it is used to worship God, share our faith, and encourage each other. On the day of Pentecost, one of the signs of the Holy Spirit was speaking in other tongues, so those gathered would hear the power of God proclaimed. The other sign, while not the anatomical body part, were tongues as of fire.
However we use our tongues, for life or death, there are consequences. We get to eat of its fruit -- we must live with the things we say. The only guarantee of bridling those unruly members -- heart and tongue -- is through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that came at Pentecost over two thousand years ago continues to aid us today. It is only with pure hearts we share the power of life.
Lord, we give you thanks for the Holy Spirit given at Pentecost. We confess we often say things we shouldn't; please forgive us. Renew in us your Holy Spirit. Lead us and guide us so that we demonstrate good fruit. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.