Words that Harm - Guidelines Devotional
January 28, 2021

Words that Harm


The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21 NLT


It was a shocking story that gripped the nation. In 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her bed in the middle of the night in Salt Lake City, Utah. Nine months later she was recognized while walking down a street with her abductor.

Smart was initially kept chained to a tree. In time, chains became unnecessary. Words were enough. Her captor constantly threatened to kill her family if she did not comply with his demands. She later recounted, “I have been chained up with actual chains, but I have also been chained with words and I can tell you that words are so much stronger than actual chains.”

Words can be powerfully destructive.  Look at yourself. Who else would want you? You are the worst thing that ever happened in this family.  You’re worthless.   The Bible speaks about the power of the tongue: “The tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself…But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:6,8) That’s why we need to make Psalm 141:3 a daily prayer: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” Will you pray that with me today?

Resource Reading:  Psalm 141:1-10

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