Taming the Tongue - Thursday October 23, 2014
But no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8 NIV
You may have heard the song that goes, "Oh, be careful little mouth what you say. . . ." Are we really careful with what we say and how we say it?
Jesus says, "For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45 NIV). If we want to tame our tongues, we must examine our hearts on a daily basis. We need to imitate David and ask God to search us and know our hearts (Psalm 139:23). But how should we speak?
We should speak in a beneficial way. Paul says, "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" (Ephesians 4:29 NIV). Swearing, cursing, or using God's name in vain does not benefit anyone.
Speak with grace. Colossians 4:6 tells us our conversation should always be full of grace, "seasoned with salt." Only tell people what they can handle. Speak gently. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1). Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit and should be evident in the tone of voice that we use (Philippians 4:5). Speak slowly. James 1:19 tells us to "be quick to listen, slow to speak." Stop and think before you speak. Speak in truth. Zechariah 8:16 commands us to "speak the truth to each other" (NIV). We all know lies just keep growing until they are eventually found out.
Let this be our prayer: "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14 NIV).
Cottonwood Community Church
Grand Forks, North Dakota
One-Year Reading Plan:
2 Timothy 2:1-21
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SCRIPTURE REFERENCB-ES: Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible B) The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are from the Holy, Bible, New International Version, copyright B) 1973, 1978, 1984 by InternaB-tional Bible Society; (NKJV) are from New King James Version B) 1982 by Thomas Nelson; (NLT) are from the New Living Translation, B) 1996, Tyndale House Publishers; (ESV) are from English Standard VersionB., B) 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers; (TM) are from The Message B) 1993 by NavPress Publishers.