“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
I’m a little concerned that if you have been religiously following the devotional this week that you may be afraid to open your mouth. You probably are thinking about putting an “out of order” note on your tongue and leave it at that. But, while we do need to control it and it has the capacity to cause harm as James tells us, the tongue can also bless you and be a blessing to others. If we guard our words, they in turn will guard us.
He you ever read or heard Winston Churchill speak? Winston Churchill knew the power of words. In speeches, books, and articles, he expressed his feelings and laid out his vision for the future. His wartime writings and speeches have fascinated generation after generation with their powerful narrative style and thoughtful reflection. His words gave the British people hope in some pretty dark times during World War 2.
There is much to be gained from keeping your tongue or using it for the glory of God. Not the least of which is praising God. Psalm 92:1:“It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High…” Express our faith as in Romans 10: 9-10: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Pray and pour out our hearts to Him. Psalm 62:8: “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
We can also use our tongues to build up and encourage one another. That is one of the reasons we meet together every Sunday and each week in our Northstar Groups. Ephesians 4:29 states: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” We can be positive, inspirational and encouraging. And in days like these, there are many times when each one of us could use an encouraging word. The world that we live in today tends to be negative and the news and media reflect that. As Christians, we don’t try to sugar-coat reality, but we point people to a Savior who is the answer to the problems of this world. And that is something to be positive about.
Taming our tongue is something that will definitely take time and we will have to go through a season of pruning, improving, and changing because there are so many aspects and dimensions to this topic of taming our tongue, that we have been dealing with this week.
Guard every conversation and speech that you expose yourself too. Do not entertain anything that does not glorify God or edify people in or around you. Put your eyes on Jesus and begin holding onto His promises for your life. Surround yourself with godly friendships and relationships that can help you pursue Him. That is how you can cut off the root of every wrong, negative and ungodly speech that comes from our tongues.
1. Do you believe the tongue has as much power for good as for evil? Why or why not?
2. Give an example of where the tongue was used for good today? What can you glean from that example?
3. The tongue can reveal who you are as a person. Reflect on what you have spoken today. What can you learn about where your heart is based on your conversations?
4. Christians have been referred to as leaky buckets – once we have been filled by God, we have to continually seek him for fresh fillings of His Spirit. What do you need to do to be “re-filled with the Holy Spirit?”
5. What are some simple rules that you can follow to control your tongue? What do you think God is prompting you to do to take the next step in “taming your tongue?”