"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21
The Navy has a slogan that it lives by, "Loose lips sink ships."
You have probably heard that before. Obviously, it means saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person could tip off the enemy on the location of a ship so they can sink it.
In relation to our key verse, I am concerned that loose lips, or angry lips, or careless lips will sink ships - but not the ships that float on the sea carrying cargo or passengers. I am more concerned about these ships: relationships, fellowships or discipleship.
Your tongue has power to speak life or death into your relationships.
The most important and intimate relationship between a man and woman is marriage. Marital love is based on mutual trust and respect. Foul language, hateful words, hurtful words, angry words or continual criticism can erode the foundations of a healthy relationship.
Another very significant relationship is the parent-child relationship and again, hateful, angry or disrespectful words from a parent or a child can do serious damage to this relationship.
A careless and uncontrolled tongue can sink relationships. You do not want to sink this ship!
I have seen the damage a hurtful tongue can do to the fellowship of a local church. It might be gossip, it may be rumors, or it could be a vicious lie that sets people against each other within a church fellowship. Whatever form it takes, loose lips can sink the fellowship of God's people.
Discipleship is a third vital ship that can be sunk with careless speaking.
Discipleship means following Jesus in faith so you can live like Him and love like Him. A disciple of Jesus speaks words that honor and please Him. A Christ-follower must speak truthfully and gently and kindly and speak words that build up and edify other followers of Christ.
No disciple of Jesus should be characterized by harsh or hurtful words. A loose tongue can certainly sink discipleship.
Words have tremendous power. They speak life or they spread death. And life, not death, should characterize these "ships" - relationships, fellowship and discipleship.
How are your "ships"?
Are they "ship shape"?