The Power of the Tongue

The following is a transcript of a Morning Devotional given by Robin Hood Camp Director Rick Littlefield at morning roundup on the campfire benches this July.

Round Up

How many campers and counselors can cluck their tongue? Please raise your hand. Congratulations you’ve earned one point. How many can curl their tongue?   Roll their tongue? How many can touch their nose with their tongue?

Those of you who can perform any of these skills particularly need to listen to what I have to say next.

The tongue is the most powerful weapon on earth. Words have the power to be like fire, burn, cut, and kill.

Who of you have been hurt by the words of others? Words can be incredibly destructive, inflict pain, suffering, and be traumatic. Words can cause war & death. I bet you remember for a very long time when someone has said something mean to you, made fun of you, or made a negative judgment about you.

-I challenge you to make a promise to be more careful with your words and to not use words like IDIOT, STUPID, JERK, or GAY.

Words can also be positive, encouraging, supportive, make someone smile or laugh, and feel good about themselves. In a world that is not always so nice with careless words being used all around, your choice of words can help heal wounds, inspire, give hope, offer needed friendship, demonstrate caring, and show love.

-My next challenge is to literally hold your tongue. Do you have control over it now?

Make a promise to yourself to be more aware and notice when you are becoming harsh and cutting. Admit and take responsibility for when you have hurt others with your words. Ask for the power to use words to bless and heal other people not hurt them.

-Make a pledge to yourself: I will notice and focus on what is GOOD about the people around me and not the negative. I will seek out and speak to people I have not been consistently nice to or encouraging and either apologize to them or at least say something encouraging to them. I will be more mindful about grumbling, complaining, whining & gossiping and recognize that these are really bad habits & actions.

When the following words are said about other people, they make judgments about them behind their back and cause harm.

  • “She’s so annoying!”
  • “Don’t you hate what she’s wearing today?”
  • “Did you see him play soccer? Tommy is such a spaz.”

-If you have a problem with someone seek them out privately one on one. Approach them at the right time. Speak to them when your attitude is in the right place and wanting to improve a situation. Talk to them with the goal of healing and not crushing the other person.

If I can’t do these things then keep your mouth shut and do this: Hold your tongue.

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the words of the wise brings healing.” Be wise. Thank you for listening.

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