The Tongue — enemy or ally?

Posted: October 30, 2013 in Discipline
Tags: , , , , , ,

“We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.  In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.  But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.  And the tongue is a flame of fire.  It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body.  It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.  People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue.  It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.  Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.  And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth.  Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!  Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh and bitter water?  Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs?  No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.” (James 3: 7-12)

“…whatever is in your heart determines what you say.  A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.  The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” (Matthew 12: 34-37)

Scripture says that the tongue is set on fire by hell itself.  The Most High God commands that we love others.  If the words we speak serve any other purpose than producing good fruit in our own lives and in the lives of others, we are agents of wickedness, serving hell, whether we realize it or not.  And we will answer for it.

It is our duty and obligation as Christians to check ourselves by listening to the words that spill out of our mouths.

We must ask the Holy Spirit to ping our conscience when we say something that grieves Him.  He answers this prayer with a whole-hearted YES and it is a common occurrence among discerning Christians that they find themselves stopping mid-sentence because their words suddenly sound like clashing cymbals between their ears.  No matter what the subject matter is, the Holy Spirit will help us keep control of our tongue if we ask Him.

Likewise, we can discern the state of other people’s spirits simply by listening to what they’re saying.  We can gauge whether people are beneficial to our lives or destructive.  And we can make wise decisions from this on who we invite into our lives and who we guard ourselves against.

 

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