Taming the Tongue
Our words reveal what’s in our heart. One can tell if we are feeling happy, amused, interested, excited, relax, disappointed, disgusted, fearful, anxious. Our words may also describe our character; good, faithful, peace loving, caring, kind, respectable, friendly, grumpy, rude, disrespectful, unhelpful, miserable, etc. We also have words that masked our real intention, and we have words that should have never been said. Today, I want to share with you how to tame our tongue. The human tongue helps in communicating our words.
1. Words reveal the condition of our heart.
“3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 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. 5 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. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison… 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.”
· The tongue is a small organ and yet it is so powerful that it can take control of our entire self. vv.3-5.
· The untamed tongue is impulsive that leads to self-destruction. v.6.
· Untamed words come from bitterness, envy, and selfish ambition. v.14.
· There is something impossible to tame than the wild animals and that is the human tongue. vv.7-8.
2. The problem of the tongue is an issue of faith.
“9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.Who can understand it? 10 “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind,to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10.
· Words come from one’s heart and beyond cure without God.
· God will judge a person based on the condition of one’s heart.
· A heart that has God residing in it, will speak of faith, it will reveal complete trust in God.
· The heart will demonstrate a loving attitude towards God and towards others.
· Our words indicate our personal relationship with God, what God is like, and who God is to me personally.
· It also reveals also our biblical understanding (or lack thereof) of interpersonal relationship.
· “Truth without love is brutality, and love without biblical truth is hypocrisy.”
3. Create a habit of moment-by-moment confession of sin before God.
“10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” James 3:10
· This will create awareness with the condition of one’s heart.
· It prompts self-examination of one’s attitude before God.
· It grows in us a humble and willing spirit that honours God.
· Ask God to change the heart to tame the tongue. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
4. Make it a habit to speak words of life.
“17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18.
· Speak words that give life, not death. “21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21.
· Think before we open our mouth. 23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” Proverbs 21:23