Is the Tongue Mightier Than the Sword?

“Sticks and Stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Who used to say this as a kid? Is it true?

Psalm 57:4
I am in the midst of lions;

      I lie among ravenous beasts —

      men whose teeth are spears and arrows,

      whose tongues are sharp swords.

How can a tongue Be a Sword?

Proverbs 10:19
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Proverbs 13:3
He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
Proverbs 17:14
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
Proverbs 17:27-28
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Proverbs 18:2
A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.
Proverbs 18:21
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 20:19
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.
Proverbs 21:23
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
Proverbs 29:20
Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

How can we use the tongue for good?

Proverbs 10:20-22
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.
Proverbs 15:4
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
1 Peter 3:10 (Ps 34:13)
For,
“Whoever would love life
      and see good days
   must keep his tongue from evil
      and his lips from deceitful speech.
James 3:3-5
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.
James 1:19-21
Listening and Doing
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
James 1: 26
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Can what we say reveal our Faith?

So what can we conclude:

  • The tongue can very much be a weapon that can be used for evil, to hurt, or for good, to protect.
  • We also see that God makes it clear that we need to watch what we say.
  • Tyrone Mendez, 25 Mar 2010