August 8, 2005
But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
In spite of all the technology and advances in medicine, your doctor like mine probably still uses the little wooden stick during an examination. He stuffs it down the back of your throat and tells you to say “Ahhh…” when all you can think about is using the proper breathing techniques to keep you from gagging. A doctor can tell a lot about your body by looking at your tongue. This practice is as old as that of medicine.
James, by the Spirit of God, also told us to examine our tongues. As we move through this Information Age, there’s a great deal of information available to sift through. And it seems as though everyone has opinions or things to say about everything.
Statistics tell us that we spend one-fifth of our life talking. On average, a person can fill up 66 books each containing 800 pages with the words they’ve spoken. The average man speaks 20,000 words a day. The average woman speaks 30,000 words a day with gusts up to 50,000! That’s the truth!
Some people are naturals at speaking, but most of us get penalized often for our mouths in motion. In fact, the tongue is the muscle in your body which gets the most exercise. But medically, it’s just a two-ounce slab of mucus membrane and nerves that enable us to chew, taste, swallow, and articulate words. But according to James, the tongue can be a monster in our mouths.
The tongue can be incredibly inconsistent. It can be used as a weapon or as an instrument of worship. However, James says that if we want to be mature believers in Christ and grow in our faith, we need to learn to tame the tongue because it ultimately reflects the spiritual condition of our hearts and lives. The tongue can create a dramatic change of direction, force destruction in our own lives and others, and display who we truly are.
How many of you have gone to church to praise the Lord and fellowship with other believers only to leave the parking lot and curse the first guy that cuts you off on the road home? Have you lost control of your tongue? If you have, ask the Lord to give a new heart and take control of your life and mouth. Pledge today that you will use your tongue to bring glory to God by exalting Christ in worship and all you do.
USE YOUR TONGUE TO GLORIFY GOD, ENCOURAGE
ONE ANOTHER, AND EXTEND THE WITNESS OF JESUS CHRIST.