The Tongue (Part Two)

When people say evil things or utter abominable words, they say ‘Oh! it is  a slip of tongue’. For how long shall man continue to pile up sin upon sins. There is no truth in the claim. A drunken individual does not come by what he says especially about other people without being an expression of what is uppermost in his mind but kept latent until effect of excessive alcohol made him lose decorum to an extent of breaking rules of decency. It is not a strange thing for an aggrieved subordinate to voice out his inner discontent with his boss at a Christmas party where he was able to gulp many free bottles of alcoholic beverage. Herodias’ vengeance  on John the Baptist who vehemently condemned Herod’s marriage with his brother’s wife was possible in the midst of King Herod’s drunkenness at his party. He asked Herodias’ daughter to dance. She danced to the admiration of the King and his guests. He therefore asked the dancer to mention a prize of her choice; even if it is up to a half of his kingdom, he would oblige. the girl’s mother taught her to ask for John the Baptist’s head in an earthenware. Oh God! Of what use is a dead man’s head as a prize for excellent dancing? The tongue has made an abominable pronouncement that got an innocent man killed just for satisfying someone’s ego.

Proverb 4: 24 says: “Put away from thee a froward mouth and perverse lips put far from thee.” The proverb tells us to keep away from words that do not edify God. Proverb 6: 25 says: “Do not lust in your heart for her beauty and do not let her captivate you with her alluring eyes”. This is for men in particular. Lusting in the heart usually leads to seductive use of the tongue. Even King Solomon was not spared when Queen Sheba paid King Solomon a royal visit. Kings 10: 13a “Now King Solomon gave the Queen all she desired, Whatever she asked..” . As of today, we still have Ethiopian Jews or else, how come late Emperor Haile Selassie (1892-1975) was able to bear the title of “Lion of Judah?”

Both old and New Testament condemned the tongue for reeling out evil, discontent , cursing and many more. They both called for a clean heart that energizes the tongue to issue appreciation, thanksgiving, adoration and many more.. The giver and the recipient are left in good mood. On the other hand.  Colossians 3: 8 says: “but now you must put them all away; anger, wrath, malice slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”   King Hezekiah used his tongue to talk to God pleasingly for God to grant him fifteen more years in existence. King Nebuchadnezzar used his tongue to equate himself with God over all his achievements and suffered the consequence of seven-year “jail-term” living animal life of eating grass and leaves until his senses returned to him. He thereafter, revered the Lord, God Almighty. Ex-President Idi Amin Dada of Uganda was so full of himself and was talking big without any benefit to his people. He ended up in exile and died there. Conversely, consider Nelson Mandela of South Africa, he declared genuine reconciliation to bring white and black South Africans together. Mandela’s concept of true reconciliation brought back the Tutsi and the Hutu of Rwanda and Burundi from ethnic cleansing into the earlier oneness from past centuries. After the bitter civil war of 1967-70, Nigeria came back together following the declaration of the famous “NO VICTOR NO VANQUISHED” as a reconciliation mantra under General Yakubu Gowon (Rd), the then Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The tongue has the power of life and death, man is therefore enjoined to choose between two situations of life either to enjoy life now and after or suffer the resultant negativity. President Goodluck Jonathan did not wait for INEC to declare the winner in the recent election in Nigeria. He quickly congratulated the winner. It really stemmed the tide of violence that could have been  unleashed on the people. This is a power of positive use of the tongue.

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