The tongue is an interesting organ. For starters, here are a few cool facts you may have never known about that tongue of yours: One taste bud has 50-100 taste cells. No single cell can identify both sweet and bitter. The tongue heals faster than any other part of the body. The human tongue is as unique to you as your fingerprints, since it comes in various shapes and has a variable number of taste buds. Almost half of all the bacteria in your mouth live on your tongue. Your tongue never stops working; even when you sleep, it is pushing saliva into your throat.

But we also learned how James warned us about this delightful instrument. I think we have all learned some of the lessons James is talking about when it comes to the power of our tongue. One of the primary themes that we have been discussing this week in the daily devotional is how to control this delightful and complicated speech instrument.

I have never met the President of the United States but, I have met my fair share of important people, at least significant in my eyes. A strange things happens. I am on my best behavior. I listen intently so I can respond correctly. I think before I speak. I choose my words carefully. I do whatever I need to do to keep from putting put my foot in my mouth.

The question is do we afford our Heavenly Father the same respect and consideration and in His case reverence? After all, God is the creator of the universe and His son came so that I might have eternal life. After all, my tongue is not actually my tongue. This tongue of mine was purchased with a heavy price on the cross. And because I have been set free, fully redeemed from sin, the rights to this mouth are relinquished as I hand them over to the King of Glory. So why is showing reference to God with my tongue so difficult?

We have been answering the question of “why” this week.

The answer to why is that we are incapable of responsibly stewarding the tongue without Jesus. I can create a world of havoc and destruction, not only in my own life but in the lives of others. Rather than building up my fellow neighbors (including myself) or giving the Lord His rightful praise, I complain, criticize and even slander those I deeply care about. And more importantly, these are people that God deeply cares about.

Yes, we need God’s involvement. Jesus is like a refreshing dose of holy mouth wash. He cleanses my mouth so that it may operate as a vehicle for praise, love, encouragement toward our heavenly father, His followers, and those He seeks to save.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why can we control our words around important people but not to people who are important to God?
2. How should our love for a generous God lead us to value loving and truthful words?
3. How do you assume responsibility for every word you speak?
4. Why is it difficult for individuals to tame their tongues by themselves? Is it easier to control harsh words within the church family? If not, why not? What is the role of the community in fostering truthful, loving, and wise speech?
5. Pray and dedicate your heart and tongue to God each day.