Recently, the Lord has been convicting me a lot through His word over the way I am using my tongue. I must confess that this blog post has taken me the longest to write. I have avoided it and yet keep coming back to it feeling so convicted - then I'll slip up again and try and ignore my stinging conscience. So one could say that this blog post is more for myself than you, dear readers. In fact, though I wrote a whole blog post on the topic, I won't post it as I came to the conclusion that sometimes it is best to let scripture speak for itself.
Of all the passsages in the Bible that have convicted me the most over the years in this, it would be James 3 which says:
"For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and brid, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
More verses on taming the tongue:
- "Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit." ~ Psalm 34:13
- "I said, 'I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle...'" ~ Psalm 39:1
- "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment...Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight...A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly." ~ Proverbs 12:18-19, 22-23
- "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." ~ Proverbs 31:26
- "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless." ~ James 1:26