Scripture: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to angry. James 1:19 NIV
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19 NIV
He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. Proverbs 13:3 NIV
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Proverbs 17:27 NIV
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.Ecclesiastes 5:2 NIV
Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. Tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:4-8 NIV
Observation: Throughout the bible the dangers of our tongue, mouth and words are taught. It’s not enough to just “think before we speak,” as my Mom used to say when I was growing up, we must PRAY before we speak. I did a bible study by Beth Moore titled “A Heart Like David.” In that study I learned that sin begins as a thought. Once it becomes a spoken word there will be little or no time before it is put into action. Think about any sin. Take divorce for example. What do you imagine the conversation(s) were prior to the couple separating? What was the argument that made the two sides feel the only way out was divorce? I wonder, how do my words affect everyday life of those around me? Do I cause feelings of hurt, shame, embarrassment, insecurity, or jealousy with my words? I heard once that the human mouth is very dirty environment because of bacteria and germs. Sadly my words can be just as dirty and cause someone’s spirit to wane. On the other hand my words can create friendships, win hearts, raise spirits, comfort the hurting, and teach truth, cause laughter and express love.
Application: How did Jesus continually speak words of encouragement right up until his crucifixion? Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 NIV I need Jesus’ gift of speaking truth in love. When it comes to family that has hurt me deeply in the past my first instinct is to strike back at them and cleverly let my words remind them of that pain. Now that I’m the righteous one in Christ, they deserve to feel some of that pain I suffered, right? Now that I’m saved I can use my Jesus knowledge to show them how they hurt me, right? Wrong! I think of what patience, love and forgiveness Christ showed the very men who arrested, tortured and killed him, WOW! I must surrender my tongue. My tongue that is a sharp knife, wounding those I love in a very sneaky kind of way. I’m not very Christ-like when I wound others am I? I need to meditate upon his word before every conversation. I need the Holy Spirit to cleanse my lips and teach me how to communicate without hurt. I need to let the forgiveness of Christ work in my heart towards those who have sinned against me. Hum…forgiveness, I could write on that over and over. My ability to forgive needs continual refinement. I need to let my words be a beautiful fragrance to the Lord. I must do the following to guard my tongue and edify when I speak and not tear down; (1) pray before opening my mouth and be slow to speak, (2) study his word and find a mentor who will keep me accountable, finally (3) allow the Holy Spirit to direct my thoughts and the Lord’s course for my life.
Prayer: Lord I need your help in my thoughts and in my mouth. Cleanse my Heart and mind and conform it to you, Heavenly Father, teach me how to communicate according to your plan. Let me be a woman who speaks in an aroma pleasing to you. Please help me to live out my life learning how to share through conversation the gift of Christ-like patience, love and forgiveness. I ask for the honor to create friendships, win hearts, raise spirits, comfort the hurting, teach truth, cause laughter and show the world your love. Please Lord allow my family, friends and those you send to me to hear of your love and to be blessed by my words. Specifically, Lord help me to honor my Mom with your patience. Help me to lovingly guiding her in making good decisions for her health and life. Amen.