The 'Killer' Gift

Years ago I received a killer gift from my hubby. Really, it was a “killer” gift, my very own Red Rider pellet gun for shooting any chipmunk that dared to interfere in my garden. (For you sensitive animal-rights folks, I’d just like to take this moment to say that, even though I tried, I never did hit any chipmunks with my Red Rider.)

God has given us a killer gift too, the gift of speech. Proverbs 18:21a (English Standard Version) Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

Although both life and death are possible with our words, God’s gift of speech, on the one hand, was never meant to kill. James 3:9-10 NIV With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. In these verses from James, we see that the gift of speech God has gifted us with is good and useful for praising Him; but it also can be misused for cursing others. The good gift of speech He gives us to praise Him and to edify others, we wrongly twist and use to curse others.

In Creation, we see speech bringing life. God spoke the world into existence - literal life-giving words spoken through the Spirit. In a similar way, we are commanded to use our speech in edifying ways that build up rather than tear down. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 16-18 (En ...

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