Thought For The Day 03/27/12


Speaking With “Forked” Tongue



A half truth is a whole lie.

Yiddish Proverb


We know what the phrase “speaks with a forked tongue” means and yet do we know how it originally came to be used in the United States? We inherited this “pearl of wisdom” from our Native American cultures who long ago used it to describe those either within their own tribe or a neighboring tribe who had deliberately lied and, therefore, was no longer worthy of being trusted. It seems to have been adopted in speaking about Caucasian people as a result of the French employing a tactic in the late 1600’s, during the French and Indian War, when they invited the Iroquois to attend a Peace Conference only to capture and kill the Native Americans.


Today we use the very same expression but now we are often implying either some sort of hypocritical behavior or otherwise acting in a duplicitous manner. And often, because we are not exactly telling an outright falsehood, we think it is acceptable to say one thing but mean something entirely different. We see this everywhere. Just look at our politicking Presidential candidates. From listening to the vehemence that is often spewed about their opponent, you might just think the “other guy” was a spawn of Satan himself! But, we probably should not be surprised that our political system has somehow devolved to this level. Isn’t this what is predicted in the Bible? Are we not told that mankind will be reduced to uttering falsehoods where darkness will be called light and where evil becomes thought of as good and good thought of as evil?


Those half-truths we speak are as common in today’s society as there are stars in the sky! And often, we have used these tactics ourselves so often that we can no longer discern what is truth and what is falsehood, even to ourselves! Do we really think before we speak to others? Are the words and ideas we share with others tinged with that subtle hint of grey? Are we somehow washing our thoughts the same way we wash a load of white laundry, in hot water and carelessly throwing that new ink black t-shirt in with the rest of the load?


The forked tongue of man can be as deadly a weapon as is an atomic bomb! The one difference is that the destruction caused by the bomb is generally an eradication of all life forms within the area it is fired upon. Life under its assault ceases to exist as we know it. The death that can come by one speaking lies and half-truths is much more subtle. It is a death that results from the undermining of the very fabric of a person’s emotional makeup. It seeks to destroy not physical life but self-esteem. It breaks apart not the very ground we walk on but often the family unit and community that is our humanity. And it is often a death that we do not see coming until it is too late to negotiate a truce! Which leads me to wonder….in reality is the attack of the first worse that the attack of the second?


5 So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. 6 And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence – and is set on fire by hell.  7 For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind.  8 But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

James 3:5-8 NET


Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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