Words are the irretrievable ammunition fired off by the tongue, and just as scripture tells us, our WORDS have the power to bring life or death, kindle a fire, and bring destruction.
I think all of us have spoken words that were not kind and later come to regret them. I know I have, and I am constantly praying when evil topics come up, or evil people are in my presence. Learning to hold your tongue is no doubt a daily battle! While I have come a long way in my walk with JESUS, the bridling my tongue is one area that GOD continues to work with me on.
James issues a strong warning about the tongue:
“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” – James 3:8 (KJV).
What that verse confirms is that GOD is the one who gives us power to tame the tongue. SO there is a VICTORY in JESUS, and while we will always battle this tiny little organ that causes life and death, we can find Godly ways to overcome the urge to speak death, and instead speak LIFE. By making a commitment to be GODLY and righteous, and through JESUS we are given the opportunity to overcome ALL SIN, in every circumstance, including the bridling of our TONGUES!
I struggle at times when I am faced with passionate subjects, and the only thing that has worked for me is to stop and pray, and ask God to give me the right words.
- STOP! Do not speak or type
- ASK GOD to give to give you the words
James further explains the tongue by comparing it to the “bits” that are fed to the horse. He says, “Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body” (James 3:3). In other words, our tongues represent our hearts, and by bridling the tongue, we have mastery over the affairs of the heart. It must be known though, that GOD still sees our heart, and its condition, even in the absence of words, its condition is known to him. True mastery over the tongue is reflected by keeping our hearts pure.
Take Accountability for Every Word You Speak
The Bible teaches us to think before we speak and to take accountability for every word that leaves our lips.
- The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. -Proverbs 15:28 (KJV).
- He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. – Proverbs 13:3 (KJV).
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. – James 3:5-6 (KJV).
What Makes you ANGRY?
Part of winning the ‘tame your tongue battle’ is knowing that anger, bitterness, strife, and unforgiveness have no place in a heated conversation, and we should never accommodate them in our hearts either. The Bible makes a distinction between RIGHTEOUS anger, and SINNING:
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” -Ephesians 4:26 (KJV).
Regardless of whether the ANGER is righteous or not, it will often lead us to sin if we do not release the anger to God, and pray over it. This verse also teaches us that, if we continue to allow anger to reside in our hearts, we begin storing it up. It fester and builds, and then leads to a hardening of our hearts. Thus, the reason “don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.” It is always best to SEEK GOD immediately and allow him to restore the condition of your heart to his ways and his understanding.
- Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:31-32 (KJV).
- For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. – James 1:20 (KJV).
Guard My Tongue, Lord Jesus
I know what triggers my anger, and for this reason, I have called them out in prayer, and it has helped me tremendously. I still have to pray when I am faced with those situations, and I still need JESUS to help me, but knowing what triggers my anger: abortion, Obama, hypocrites, false teachings, and people who handle scriptures deceptively has helped me learn to react to them in a GODLY WAY. While all of those sound like noble reasons to be angry, they have in fact led me to sin. Therefore, to avoid allowing anger to rule me, I ready myself with PRAYER and I ask GOD to give me wisdom and discernment. This has not only helped me in my relationship with others, but it has also transformed my way of speaking.
Let’s face it, there are things in life that are simply unavoidable. We will always face situations and subjects that draw a rise out of us, and how we handle them should always be done under the light of honoring God and accomplishing his purpose. Remember, if you are faced with something that you know causes you anger, the most important weapon you have in your arsenal is the HOLY SPIRIT.
- In the word of truth, in the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; – 2 Corinthians 6:7 (KJV).
- That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:5 (KJV)..
WHY IS TAMING THE TONGUE IMPORTANT?
James tells us that if we DO NOT tame the tongue, our testimony for JESUS is WORTHLESS.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. – James 1:26 (KJV).
We are the LIVING BREATHING EXTENSIONS OF JESUS CHRIST, and since we were bought with a heavy price, we owe our lives to JESUS. Our daily prayer, should be that we become more like him, and mirror his ways, seeking him always. Therefore, it is important that all of us commit our hearts and our tongues to JESUS, so that his light shines through us.
- Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. -Colossians 4:6 (KJV).
- The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. -Ecclesiastes 10:12 (KJV).
- Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. -Ephesians 4:29 (KJV).
GOD WILL JUDGE EVERY IDLE WORD WE SPEAK
We all must know that besides putting our reflection of Christ in jeopardy, God warns that he will judge each of us for every idle word we speak. Jesus himself issued this warning:
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. -Matthew 12:36-37(KJV).
Therefore, we need to be keenly aware that we are not “getting away with vain speaking.” BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT YOU SPEAK OR TYPE – because GOD will hold each of us accountable!
HOW TO HANDLE CORRECTION AND REBUKE
Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. -Job 6:24 (KJV).
There is a balance of being truthful, and it is hard at times to speak truth without it offending others. We need to learn not to be offended by truth, or afraid to speak truth. Correction is what makes us grow and that should always be the goal when bringing error to the light. At the same time, we need to know there is a GODLY way to rebuke and correct someone when an offense is made against us. Often times I have found that those offended by correction have something to hide. Jesus teaches us to be transparent and not hide sin, but admit it and repent.
- Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. – Matthew 18:15 (KJV).
- Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. – Luke 17:3 (KJV).
YOUR WORDS ARE A REFLECTION OF YOUR HEART
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.-Matthew 15:18 (KJV).
The Bible teaches us that our words reflect what is in our hearts “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34). Therefore, the key to taming our TONGUE is to GUARD our hearts! We must be careful what we store in there. Bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, give it all to GOD, he will happily take the LOAD from you.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. – James 3:17 (KJV).
Because in truth, he is the righteous avenger and he is the one that will deliver us from evil and protect us, if we seek him. If we guard our hearts, are TONGUE will not have ammunition.
- A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. – Luke 6:45 (KJV).
- Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. – Matthew 15:11 (KJV).
- Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. – Proverbs 4:23 (KJV).
- But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. -1 Peter 3:15-16 (KJV).
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; – Ephesians 5:1 (KJV).
When we guard hearts, giving our focus to what is good and pure, OUR WORDS WILL REFLECT THAT, and most importantly, we will bring GLORY and HONOR TO OUR RISEN SAVIOR AND KING! Paul teaches us to focus our hearts on what is pure:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. -Philippians 4:8 (KJV).
The KEY to TAMING the TONGUE is GUARDING YOUR HEART
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. -Proverbs 4:23-24 (KJV).
Here are some verses that I find especially helpful in my pleas to tame the tongue:
- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14 (KJV).
- I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. – Psalm 39:1 (KJV).
- Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. -Psalm 120:2 (KJV).
- Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. -Psalm 141:3 (KJV).
“By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,” (2 Corinthians 6:6-7).
May God keep you and bless you daily as you seek him in all your ways, keeping the thoughts of your heart focused on what is good and true, our Savior and Redeemer,
“for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;” (2 Corinthians 10:4). Amen.
In the Faithful Service of Jesus Christ,
Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, and rose again for the sole purpose of saving us from our sins. Are you saved? The bible declares that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13 (KJV). Salvation is turning your life over to Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus is the son of God, and renewing your mind with his spirit, that is done through repentance of sin, and following JESUS with all your heart, mind and soul. JESUS transforms lives, if you are ready for this life saving step, call upon your savior TODAY! Learn more here.