Our tongues have the power to do good or evil. It can be used to bless or blame. It can be used to build up or put down. It can give a sweet word to save a marriage or a hurtful word to end a marriage. It can lure someone to do something bad. It can save someone who has no hope.
James 3: 3-8 "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. Think about ships. They are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Similarly, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it how all kinds of control! A great forest fire can be started by a small spark. The tongue is a small part of the body but it can corrupt the whole body. It can change the whole course of one’s life.
Luke 6: 45, "What comes out of your mouth depends on what is in your heart. Jesus said, 'Out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks.'” James 3: 9-12 "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."
If you are tempted to speak something that you know you will later regret ask God to show you what is in your heart. We have been given a prayer in Psalm 139: 23-24. "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." God wants our words to be of love, to be boldly sharing the truth and to glorify Him.
Jesus affirmed in Matthew 12: 36-37 that "on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned". Proverbs 10: 14 "The words we speak will either build us up or tear us down". Proverbs 13: 2-3, "Our tongue will either bring blessings or curses upon us—from both God and man—in both the present time and for eternity".
Next time we are angry or emotional let us remember Psalm 64: 3, " They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. Also Psalm 140: 3, "They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips." Instead maybe we hold our tongues as is in Proverbs 10: 19, "Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues".
A good habit for us all is to pray Psalm 141: 3 daily...maybe hourly! “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”
What will come out of your mouth today?