Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Prov 15:4 “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
If you have ever had a leak in your roof, one thing you’ve learned through the process is that water and gravity work together to find openings where that water can leak through. If there is a crack, water will find its way. This is also true with words. They just find a way to come out. This week we’ve seen that words that should never be spoken always manage to find their way somehow to our tongue and slip out – usually to our regret. It may take the form of complaining or whining, or anger or yelling, or gossip or backbiting, but whatever, like a water leak, it finds it way out. That is why James 3:8-11 instructs us with a profound truth, “… no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”
The tongue, or the words that come from our mouth, are simply the outward expression of what is in our heart. We all know that not everything in our heart is good. Jer 17:9 describes the heart without Jesus. It says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” This is more true before we became born again and gave our lives to Jesus. When we gave our lives to Him then the Holy Spirit took residence with us and began to purify our hearts. We need the Lord to purify our hearts but that is a life-long process and the words we speak are the proof of it. They expose too often the negatives that have not been purged that are embarrassingly in our hearts.
Did you know that most of the negative words in various forms we speak come from dissatisfied hearts produced by selfish desire? James 3:13-16 helps us to understand the source of wrong motivation that leads to wrong thinking, sinful speaking, and evil behavior. Its selfish desire, ambition, and jealousy over what others have, and over fear of not being able to obtain what we want in life. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find strife in your relationships along with confusion and every imaginable evil that Satan can stir up through the open door of your wrong attitude and actions.”
Look at a teen that is trying to break out into his or her own selfish life. They often let themselves be influenced by people that don’t know God’s ways. They want to figure things out for themselves. They become self-focused and begin to debate and fight for their own way. They stop taking counsel and often begin to indulge in wrong thinking, speaking, and behavior. This is why it is important for families to be in strong churches that impart godly influence and instruction not just for teens but at every age level.
Adults do that same thing. They engage in breakroom gossip. They are jealous of someone else’s good looks, or personal disciplines, or promotion or prosperity. They become busybodies simply enjoying the gossip of others to make themselves feel better. Anyone that does not agree with them and their right opinion on how things should be done becomes their verbal target. They get in strife at anything that bothers them. Christian adults skip church for the excuses of needed rest, relaxation and entertainment. They become too busy to read and mediate upon the Word of God and pray. They are doing life their way. They don’t like it in their teen but don’t see the same patterns in their own life. God’s touch, presence, and influence becomes lacking and over time words become loose and sloppy, unimportant, unguarded, and become tools of destruction.
Our hearts need the constant touch and presence of God in many forms. Church, Bible study, reading and meditation, prayer, and fellowship with others that love God are absolutely critical to a successful Christian walk and the strength to live and speak right! This gives place to the Holy Spirit’s voice continually putting our hearts, our thoughts, our attitudes, and our words in check. We become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s influence helping us purge wrong thoughts and attitudes, and then curb the negative words we speak. The Holy Spirit can then help us become imparters of words of grace that bring health and blessing to others instead of destruction and death.
As today’s Fresh Manna says, “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” God does give us the free will to think, do, and speak as we want, but if we want God’s words producing blessing in our lives and the lives of others, then we need to fill our hearts and minds with Him and put our selves in atmospheres where the presence of God can touch our heart. No man can tame the tongue! Only the Holy Spirit within us can! When we let Him, then Prov 17:27 will become true in our life. “A man of that has God’s understanding uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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