Have you ever said something you regret? Maybe you typed out a message and accidentally hit send, or you responded impulsively to your parents. Unfortunately, there are no take backs with our words, once it’s out there it’s out. God gives us this wonderful gift of speech, but how we use it is up to us. We can use our tongue as a useful tool, or we can make it a destructive weapon.
James 3:5-6 says, “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness”.
If we give our tongue freedom without restraint, it will boast, lie, argue, gossip, and divide. Naturally, our speech will cause fires in our lives that destroy relationships and even our own reputation. An uncontrolled fire brings destruction beyond measure, destroying all in its path until it runs out of fuel. Alternatively, a controlled and contained fire brings warmth and comfort and helps to cook food that we regularly enjoy. We must discipline our tongue if we desire to see the positive results of a mouthpiece used for our God.
The key to speaking correctly is thinking correctly.
The words that you speak on a daily basis are bubbling out of a full heart.
Luke 6:45 says, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart”.
If you’re filling your heart up with filth, whether that’s a bad influence, or inappropriate movies or music, the abundance of that filth in your heart is going to come out of your mouth. No one can tame their tongue, but we can guard our heart and set boundaries in our lives so that we don’t allow the impurities to find a place in our heart.
Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble”.
Most of the time, we can simply keep ourselves from putting our foot in our mouth by being slow to speak. There’s a temptation to speak that comment quickly, but the faster you respond the more likely you’ll regret it. Think of the trouble or the pain that you might prevent if you think before you speak.
Could you imagine the discipline we would have if we not only thought before we spoke, but we actually sought the Lord in prayer? A man named Nehemiah practiced this when he spoke to a king about an important request. It tells us that “With a prayer to the God of heaven,” he made his request. When we speak, may we seek to draw near to God and request His wisdom from above.
James 3:17, “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere”.