Death and life are in the power of the tongue according to Proverbs 18:21. It is as bad as that, so we should take great care how we use our tongues. It is like a knife which we use usefully every day in the kitchen and for other domestic purposes but the same knife can kill simply by piecing anyone in the heart or other vulnerable areas.
In Psalm 39:1 it is written “I said I will guard my ways; that I may not sin with my tongue, I will bridle my mouth, so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
It was Jesus Christ who said: “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” Blasphemy is speaking against God or sacred things and the tongue is the culprit in this case. We all know that the consequence of not being forgiven is to find oneself in hell. It is no fanciful matter to be taken lightly.
The due and proper use of any natural faculty or power is to be judged by the end and design for which it was given us. The chief purpose for which the faculty of speech was given to men is plainly that we might communicate our thoughts to each other, in order to carry on the affairs of the world for business and for our improvement in knowledge and learning. But the good Author of our nature designed us not only necessities but likewise enjoyment and satisfaction. And if we consider conversation as an entertainment, as somewhat to unbend the mind; as a diversion from the cares, the business and the sorrows of life, it is of the nature of it that the discourse be mutual.
The wise man observes that there is a time to speak and a time to keep silence. (Eccles 3:7).
One meets with people in the world who seem never to have made the last of these observations. And yet these great talkers do not at all speak from their having anything to say, as every sentence shows, but only from their inclination to be talking. Their conversation is merely an exercise of the tongue; no other human faculty has any share in it. If they are entertaining it is at their own expense. Their business in coming into company not being at all to be informed, to hear, to learn but to display themselves or rather to exert their faulty and talk without any design at all. “A fool multiplies words though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him?” (Proverbs 10:14).
Is it possible that it should never come into people’s thoughts to suspect, whether or not it be to their advantage to show so much of themselves? Oh that you would altogether hold your peace, and it should be your wisdom. Remember likewise there are persons who love fewer words, an inoffensive sort of people and who deserve some regard, though of too still and composed tempers for you. Of this number was the son of Sirach for he plainly speaks from experience when he says As bills of sand are to the steps of the aged, so is one of many words to the quiet man.
The tongue may be employed about and made to serve all the purposes of vice, in tempting and deceiving in perjury and injustice. But the thing here supposed and referred to is talkativeness, a disposition to be talking abstracted from the consideration of what is to be said; with very little regard to, or thought of doing, either good or harm. And let not any imagine this to be a slight matter and that it deserves not to have so great weight laid upon it till he has considered what evil is implied in it and the bad effects which follow from it.
If it were needful to say anything further to persuade men to learn the lesson of silence one might put them in mind how insignificant they render themselves by excessive talkativeness in so much, that if they do chance to say anything which deserves to be attended to and regarded it is lost in the variety and abundance which they utter words of another sort.
There is perpetually, and often it is not attended to, a relationship among people of one kind or another in respect to wit, beauty, learning fortune and that one thing will insensibly influence them to speak to the disadvantage of others even where there is no formed malice or ill design. Since therefore it is so hard to enter into this subject without offending, the first thing to be observed is that people should learn to decline it and to get over that strong inclination most have to be talking of the concerns and behavior of their neighbour-‘Kongosa.’
About a quarter of the cases in the Magistrate Courts are about curing-‘e curse me, den curse we.’
Gossip and kongosa to gain favour should stop those dirty tricks. It does not augur well for good citizenship.