Proverbs 10:19b-20a,21a – But he who holds his tongue is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver. The lips of the righteous nourish many. (NIV)
"How do you like your new pastor?" It was a natural question. The pulpit committee had searched for two years before finding a candidate who felt led to take on the leadership of our small congregation. Things were going well under his leadership, and people in the town, who knew we hadn't had a minister for two years, frequently asked this question.
"I feel things are going well," I answered. In my mind, I thought of all the positive comments I'd heard, and the general feeling of thanksgiving among the congregation over the fact we had someone in the pulpit on a regular basis.
"Well, enjoy him, but…" and the person went on to add one simple negative remark. Over the next few days, I found myself reviewing this conversation and examining the pastor in the light of that one declaration. The pastor hadn't changed, but my thoughts were tainted because of someone's poisonous tongue.
Our words have power for good or evil. We have a choice: we can tarnish or revitalize a person's reputation. It all depends on the words we choose to say today.
Prayer: God, guard our thoughts and our tongues. Help us to choose words that will build up one another rather than destroy. Amen.