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Even though we know something about the anatomical structure] and the functions of the tongue, we have by no means exhausted the full extent of its operations and capabilities. We know, of course, that we owe the gift of oral communication to the tongue. But that is not all. The tongue is at the same time the ‘voice’ of) the heart, the figurative seat of the ability to feel, think and make decisions. This little organ thus may be a source of blessing ori curse for ourselves and others.

From the Bible we learn that horses and ships are easier to manoeuvre and control than the tongue. Though small in size, the tongue can, metaphorically speaking, ignite a ‘fire’ so devastating that it destroys a forest.

How sad is its influence when spreading evil gossip and, by doingi so, slandering friends and dear companions. Envy and hatred, too,] make use of this nimble little instrument of the soul when sending out its poisonous arrows to do harm to successful fellowmen. As slick as oil, the tongue obeys the voice of temptation, for the chosen \ victim cannot escape its treacherous influence. Many a tongue cannot distinguish between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, so that its contradictions,] hypocrisy and lies play a part in destroying the innocent. A disap-l pointed person may pour out the bitterness of his heart throug the tongue and infect or poison others. What dreadful words maj be uttered through this inconspicuous little organ in the mouth the mentally deranged! The confused state of mind and inner conflict of such a person often seems to surface by means of the tongue. It is hard for a healthy, normal person to understand or face such an outburst.


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