THE TAMING OF THE TONGUE
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21
Big things often come in small packages. A fire ant is a very small insect … but it can lift twenty times its body weight, and pack a wallop with its sting. A single match is a relatively small thing … but it has the potential to burn down a forest or a village.
In the human body, there is a little two-ounce slab of muscle that is packed with power, either for good or evil. God places it behind the strong bars of the teeth. It is called the tongue. It has the power to bless or curse, to build up or burn down, to bring life or usher in death.
HOW ARE YOU USING YOUR TONGUE?
Because our tongue is such a powerful little muscle, we must be extremely careful how we use it. What is the counsel from the Lord? What is His sermon on the mouth?
1. Think before you speak. James said, “But let everyone be quick to hear [listen], slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19). If we engage our mouths before we engage our minds, we often get ourselves in trouble. We need to hear correctly so we can respond correctly. Many marriages and families are filled with angry communication simply because the members of the family don’t take time to really listen to one another.
2. Always speak the truth. Paul said, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25). God hates lying. It is totally foreign and abhorrent to His nature. We are never more like the devil than when we traffic in lies, because Satan is a liar and the father of lies. God demands that His children always speak the truth.
Now remember this, speaking the truth does not mean you say everything you think. If your wife asks you if she looks fat … plead the fifth! Jesus did not answer every question posed to Him. Be wise with your words. Sometimes “no comment” is the way to go.
3. Always speak the truth in love. Psalm 25:10 tells us, “All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth ….” Jesus always spoke the truth, and He spoke it in love. It has well been said, love without truth is sentimentality … and truth without love is brutality. We need both truth and love as we communicate with one another. We need to build up—even in rebuke—and not tear down. As Paul said in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
When it comes to the tongue, remember the acronym T-H-I-N-K:
T – Is it true?
H – Is it helpful?
I – Does it inspire?
N – Is it necessary?
K – Is it kind?
MAKING IT PERSONAL
How have you been doing with your tongue? Have you been careful or careless with it? Have you been beating people down or building them up? Have you been beating yourself down with negative self-talk—I’m no good, I always fail, I can’t make it, nothing good is going to happen in my life, God doesn’t love me, etc.? Bring your tongue to the altar and surrender it to the Lord! Determine from this day forward to use your tongue to bring honor to God and healing to man. You will be amazed at the difference that will make in your life and in the lives of others!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Direct questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
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