Book Review: Tongue Pierced by Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

Book Review: Tongue Pierced by Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes HensonTongue Pierced: How the Words You Speak Transform the Life You Live Published by David C Cook on December 10, 2014
Genres: Christian Life, Personal Growth
Pages: 224


Have you ever been told to watch your tongue? The way we speak every day can shape our lives—positively or negatively. In this practical resource, Searcy and Henson explain how to choose our words wisely to create the life we want! They offer useful tools, including the “30-Day No Cursing Challenge,” to help us learn to tame our tongues and pursue successful relationships.

Before I started reading Tongue Pierced: How the Words You Speak Transform the Life You Live, I wanted to know more about the authors, so I’ll share what I found with you:

~NELSON SEARCY is the founding pastor of The Journey Church with locations in New York City, San Francisco and Boca Raton, Florida–which he and his wife, Kelley, began from scratch in 2002 and now has more than 2,000 members. He has personally trained more than 50,000 church leaders through live events and seminars presented on Church Leader Insights, an Internet and coaching resource for pastors. He is also the founder of The Renegade Pastors Network. He is the author of more than 85 bestselling resources on church growth, church health, and church planting.

~JENNIFER DYKES HENSON is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has served as a writer/producer and ministry consultant to organizations across the East Coast. Jennifer also worked with Dr. Charles Stanley as the manager of marketing communications for In Touch Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

For me, this book was very hard to start reading. I picked it up over and over reading and re-reading the same parts. I just couldn’t seem to get past the beginning. I really hoped that I could read this book and get so much out of it due to the subject matter I knew I needed to learn. Tragically, this book became something similar to the Elf on a Shelf.


It was carried from room to room in my house and from the house to the office for days that became weeks before I realized it was just not going to be the kind of book I would read from cover to cover in one sitting. I still felt that the message of this book was one that I really needed to hear since it was right on point with the message I had heard at church just the week before the book arrived in the mail. 


Instead of sharing the book chapter by chapter, I’ll tell you about the things that hit me enough to cause me to remember them the next couple of days and weeks as I trudged through this book. 

I’m sure we all realize that our words can have tremendous power. We can strengthen relations or tear people down depending on the words that flow from our mouths. As I’m sure you know, the most powerful three word phrase is I Love You. The most powerful two word phrase is I’m sorry, and the most powerful single word is I. Most everyone realizes how powerful those words are, but they don’t think about the other words they use.  Once we become aware of how powerful our words are, we then need to harness them and become intentional about what words come out of our mouths for our own benefits and the benefit of others as well as for God’s glory.

The book challenges us to commit to transforming our lives by changing the words we speak – to speak life and share love remembering that words also define who we are – who people know us to be. In Matthew 15:18, Jesus said “The words you speak come from the heart”. Words are a gift from God and they reflect the condition of your heart. By allowing Jesus to take up residence in the center of your heart, your words will bring abundant life as a natural by-product of your God-focused heart.

We have to remember Galatians 5:17 that says “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other.” On one side, we choose words of praise and encouragement or we hold our tongues completely. On the other side, we choose destruction by gossiping, complaining and cursing.

The author suggests that we start our days with praise. First by thanking God for who He is, for His love, His blessings, forgiveness and peace. If we let those words settle into our hearts, it can speak for the rest of the day. Next, we use encouragement. We think of every person with an invisible sign that says “encourage me” because let’s face it – everyone needs a little encouragement even if they don’t admit it! If we treat the people in our lives as the best possible versions of themselves, maybe they can become the best possible version of themselves.

The next suggestion is holding our tongue.  Yes, this one is speaking loud and clear to me as it is something I really need to work on.  It requires the humility to realize that my opinion may not be the best or the most important one in the room. In Proverbs, King Solomon wrote “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.” (Prov. 12:15). Sometimes we are so busy explaining, proving and justifying ourselves and our opinions that we forget to listen. “The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness.” (Prov. 12:23) Learning to hold your tongue when everything in you wants to speak takes practice and maturity.

The author then goes on to talk about gossip, in all forms, being inherently destructive.  No wonder I couldn’t sink my teeth into this book – it forces me to look at my own word choices and behaviors on each page now doesn’t it! Gossip is a sin, plain and simple. We all know it and we have all done it.  I know I have fallen prey to gossip too often, and I’m ashamed to admit it. I do realize that it tears people down, it also deteriorates trust and is very hurtful to others.  “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.” (Prov. 18:8 NIV)

…… and then there’s complaining. Wow, was I complaining earlier in this post about how hard this book was to read? yikes! Sorry about that. Complaining is a catalyst for a vicious cycle. We get attention or comfort by complaining so then we start complaining about something else and then before long, complaints become self-fulfilling prophecies. The truth is, no one likes a complainer. That’s why, in his letter to the Philippian church, Paul wrote, “Do everything without complaining and arguing.” (Phil. 2:14)

Next is cursing – I can share a little about cursing in my life. I’m no saint, but I will tell you that when I first began my walk with God in 1994, I couldn’t say one sentence without a curse word or two or three. Little by little, slowly by even slower, my choice of words improved. I am not sure it was immediately noticeable to others or not, but flash forward to 2013 when I took a new job at a small satellite office consisting of three people. One of my co-workers began to share a story and cursed while sharing. She immediately stopped, turned my way, and apologized for swearing saying she didn’t mean to offend me by cursing.  You see, I had become a person who didn’t curse and therefore, people that did curse felt uncomfortable cursing around me.  If someone like me can change their choice of words, anyone can with a little intentional behavior.

Ahhhh, so I get it.  Intentional word choices.  That’s what the book is talking about: give my heart to God, and speak God’s love through my words. The more time I spend with God praying, communicating, connecting and listening, the more of God’s influence affects my life. Therefore, I should find a way to spend even MORE time with God praying, communicating, connecting, listening so that I will have even more of His influence.

As David wrote, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.” (Ps. 139:1-4 NIV)

The next section of the book talks about prayer – using bold words, praying for yourself, praying for others, praying for things impacting the world, and having faith filled words. It also talks about listening to what God has to say to you.  Take the time to listen and pray that God shows you the path.  Sit quietly in His presence and allow Him time to draw you deeper into the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10.

The book goes on to talk about the impact of words on our loved ones, especially spouses and children. It discusses healthy approaches to confrontation, and the importance of making thoughtful word choices. There is also a 30 day no-cursing challenge for changing the negative effect of cursing in your life.

We are also reminded that children need to hear encouraging, empowering and uplifting words when they are young and not cursing or angry words that parents often throw their way tearing them down.

Overall, at the end of Tongue Pierced, the information and principles detail how readers can take control of the words they speak and begin using them to build lives filled with purpose, peace and love. If you would like to purchase this book for yourself, it is available at Family Christian stores, and you can find it by clicking —-> HERE!



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