Tongue is a weapon that can build up as well as destroy. Do any of you think you are religious? If you do not control your tongue, your religion is worthless and you deceive (betray) yourself – James 1:26.
Our tongue: small as it is, it can boast about great things. Just think how a large forest, can be set on fire by a tiny flame! The tongue is like this fire. It is a world of wrong, occupying its place in our bodies and spreading evil through our whole being. It sets on fire the entire course of our existence with the fire that comes to it from hell itself. We humans are able to tame and have tamed all other creatures, wild animals and birds, reptiles and fish. But no one has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison.
We use it, to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse other people, who are created just like us in the likeness of God.
In the Letter of James, we are asked to show our faith in the little acts of daily living. Words of thanksgiving and cursing pour out from the same mouth; this should not happen! For no spring of water pours out sweet water and bitter water from the same opening. A fig tree, my friends, cannot bear olives; a grapevine cannot bear figs, nor can a salty spring produce sweet water. What about others who hurt us by their words? Shouldn’t that be considered? You may ask.
No, and I’ll tell you why. You have to set an example first, by putting into action our Lord’s teachings. Scripture is clear on this: ‘Rid yourselves, then, of all evil; no more lying or hypocrisy [insincerity] or jealousy or insulting language. Jesus Christ himself suffered for you and left you an example, so that you would follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips. When he was insulted, he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous Judge. Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that you have been healed’ (1 Peter:2)
So then cry out to the Lord with your mouth and have high praise on your tongue. Use your tongue to Praise the Lord, Praise His holy name. In I Thessalonians 5:16-17 we read, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”When a soul praises the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan trembles and flees to the very bottom of hell. Praise makes room in our hearts for God’s will to be done. Let the Spirit of the LORD speak; let his word remain on your tongue (2 Samuel 23:2).
In Proverbs 18:21 we read – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. If then words can hurt or heal; let me ask you what did yours do Today? We love all words that devour [demolish], that are deceitful [lying] (Psalm 52:4). Our tongue, plots destruction, like a sharp razor, & acts as the workers of deceit [cheat] Furthermore we are all swollen with pride know nothing. We have an unhealthy desire to argue and quarrel about words, and this brings on jealousy, disputes, insults, evil suspicions. (1 Timothy 6:4)
Remember, a gentle tongue is a tree of life. – Proverbs 15:4. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice – Psalm 37:30. Truthful lips endure [last] forever, but a lying tongue is just for a moment – Proverbs 12:19. Note the difference – Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble – Proverbs 21:23; but a man of crooked heart does not discover good, and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity [tragedy].
Whenever you find yourself stuck, in a particular situation where shouting or insults, harsh words or threats are at the tip of your tongue. Ask the Lord’s help, recite several times, ‘Jesus, Master help me’ and trust me, God will make a way. For the scripture says – ‘Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.’(Psalm139:4)
May we open our mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness be on our tongue. For everyone deceive [betray] his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary [exhaust] themselves committing iniquity [injustice] – Jeremiah 9:5. Scripture is clear on this – “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit [dishonesty] – 1Peter3:10.
A person’s relationship with God is crucial here. So you decide, Do you care what God thinks about your behavior? Are your words, actions & deeds accountable to God? Then let not your throat be an open grave. This is where I ask you to consider, check & examine your words, actions & deeds and repent before you get caught or judged. Get rid of all bitterness, anger, passion and hateful feelings. No more shouting or insults, no more obscene talk must ever come from your lips. Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. (Ephesians 4:29)
In the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy 2:16-17 reminds us – To keep away from profane and foolish discussions, which only drive people farther away from God. Such teaching is like an open sore that eats away the flesh keep away from foolish and ignorant arguments; you know that they end up in quarrels.
As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher, who is gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. And then they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the Devil, who had caught them and made them obey his will.
You must all have the same attitude and the same feelings; love one another, and be kind and humble with one another. Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you. As the scripture says, ‘If you want to enjoy life and wish to see good times, you must keep from speaking evil and stop telling lies. You must turn away from evil and do good; you must strive for peace with all your heart. For the Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their prayers; but he opposes those who do evil’ (1Peter3).
Also read: Set a guard over your mouth
Let us ask the Lord to take over this area of our life and pray like the Psalmist did, Set me free, O LORD, from lying lips & dishonest tongue (Psalm120:2) I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle [silence], so long as the wicked are in my presence (Psalm 39:1).
– – – written by Sharon Joseph