Scripture often refers to the tongue or lips as the gateway to the heart. Proverbs 21:23 tells us that “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Similarly, Jesus said that it was out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) while James compares the tongue to a rudder on a ship, capable of defiling the whole body (James 3:3-6).
These verses seem to suggest that speech has an important function in defining who we are. The words that come out of our mouth are formative in determining the spiritual health of our very heart and soul.
Recent discoveries in neuroscience and cognitive psychology support the Bible’s teaching on this subject. Scientists are only just beginning to appreciate the incredible power that speech has in forming both our self-identity and our perception of the world. These discoveries underscore the premium the Biblical writers place on responsible speaking.
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