Oh how very true that verse is for all of us! The tongue is a hard thing to control isn’t it? According to God’s Word, we must choose carefully what we say and how we say it.
The things we say come from our hearts. If our hearts are filled with righteousness, we will speak righteousness. If our hearts are filled with unrighteousness, we will speak unrighteousness. It’s just that simple.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
Jesus speaking in Luke 6:45
So, whenever you speak, it is your heart talking. We need to make sure our hearts are filled with the right things then! Here is some excellent advice from the Apostle Paul on how to fill your heart with good things.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Getting all of that worry and anxiety out of your heart and mind will most definitely help you fill your heart with the goodness of God. Lift up everything to Him. Anything you can imagine or want to discuss! Give it all to Him! That will help you speak life with your tongue and not speak death. Did you know the tongue has that power? Yes, remember the verse above, it can spark destructive fires in our lives.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Don’t love the tongue then! Speak life over yourself and others, and flee from speaking death! Here is more of God’s wisdom from the Book of Proverbs.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
“The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
You can see how important it is to control our tongues. Since our hearts are tied to our tongues, let’s look at more Scripture about that. The Apostle Paul has more excellent advice on how to fill our hearts with the good things of God.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
That goes well beyond worldly positive thinking! In order to do that, we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and the sealed hope of Heaven! And we do that by the power of the Holy Spirit! You are not going to speak evil or death when your heart is swimming in what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy!
When writing to the church at Ephesus, Paul encourages the believers to live as children of light. He does not want them speaking dirty or discouraging to each other. He wants them to lift each other up!
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Can you imagine how great our relationships would be if we stopped to think about other people’s needs and what is helpful for building others up first before we speak? That would definitely help tame our tongues! I pray we all do that, in Jesus’ Name, Amen!
In the Book of James is where we find the very famous Scriptures on taming the tongue. Let’s take a look at what James has to say about our ever restless tongues. It will help us see more clearly just how important it is to control it.
“We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
Whoa! That’s intense! I don’t want my tongue set on fire by hell, and I definitely don’t want to hurt or burn anyone with it! It is amazing that we can control the entire course of our lives with our tongue! What a great freedom and a most serious responsibility! So serious it holds the power of life and death!
“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”
Folks, I am writing this today because I have a deep conviction about this. I struggled with my tongue for years as I suffered Celiac. I was angry about the disease and I let my tongue fly wildly way too many times! I burned and hurt my family and friends, and I had to ask for forgiveness. I had trouble with bad language and slander, and the Lord set me straight with all these verses! Please hear me, the Lord cares very much about what you say and how you say it. As Ambassadors of Christ, please remember this. We are not representing ourselves. We are representing Jesus. I pray that the Lord will empower us in the Holy Spirit to speak life wherever we go!
Speak life into your heart!
Speak life into your health!
Speak life into your marriage!
Speak life into your kids!
Speak life into your friendships!
Speak life into your work!
Speak life into everything!
If you are struggling with your tongue (and we all do at some point), then hand it over to the Lord. The Holy Spirit will remove the unwholesome talk from your heart and bring peace. This is a very effective prayer I prayed for many years and I still do:
“Lord Jesus, please give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name and love you first. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of my mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Help me be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to become angry. Deliver me from anger and heal my heart Lord. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and help me speak life Lord! Amen!”
James gives us more wise advice that we can use to tame our tongues.
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the world planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
So, in order to live that way we must humbly accept God’s word that has been planted in us and do what it says. More of God’s Word in our hearts=more taming of the tongue. Praise God He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us and His Spirit is full of power, love, and self-discipline! We need that power and love to be self-controlled, especially when it comes to our tongues! Put that burning tongue of fire on ice with God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit today! It is very refreshing and you’ll be glad you did!
Grace and peace to you all!