Get Your Tongue Under Control – Part One

Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

Eph 4:29 “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 impart grace to those who listen.”

There was this one day. My four children were waiting for me to come home from a trip. They all greeted me at the door with hugs and just a spark more excitement than was usual. I thought it was about me until the children’s spokesperson, their mother, entered into the room. They had a group request. “Honey, one of the kids in Jeffrey’s class brought a kitten to show-and-tell today. It’s realllllllllly cute! They are wondering if we could have a kitten. I must have really been tired from my trip because I did something I don’t usually do. I quickly caved in and said yes.

I had never had a cat having always grown up with a dog. I knew nothing about cats. What a shock it was to learn how unusual cats are. Although I’m sure there are a few exceptions in the world, I quickly learned that a cat for the most part doesn’t train easily if at all – at least compared to a dog. It has a mind of its own and does what it wants when it wants. And some of the things it does are very peculiar. It reminds me of the tongue – you know, that little waggling creature in your mouth.

James 3:8-11 instructs us of 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?”

You know how it is. You’ve thought about it a million times. You know you shouldn’t use your tongue to tear down or speak against others. We wrestle with it. If we have a conscience, then we will often find ourselves repentant over what this uncontrollable little creature has just released from our mouth. We will also find that despite the repentance, victory in getting it to obey comes way too slow. We find ourselves blessing some – saying kind things only to later say spew inappropriate things to others that our conscience regrets. We find out that the Word of God is true. “…No man can tame the tongue.”

James 3:3-6 tells us more about this untamable thing. It says, “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 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. The 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.” “…No man can tame the tongue.”

If this is true, then what do we do? The first step is to recognize this truth and come to grips with it. You can’t fix your tongue yourself. God is not lying when He says “…NO MAN can tame the tongue.” That includes you and I. At the same time we have to realize that God is not setting us up to fail. The answer in taming the tongue is recognizing that only with the help of the Holy Spirit can you tame the tongue. The Holy Spirit will help you tame your tongue through a number of ways. I’ll only go into one of them today.

Pray that God through His Holy Spirit give you a revelation of the truth of this verse. Prov 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” You will know when God has given you this revelation. The truth of this verse will put the fear of the Lord in you. By that I mean that you will understand that your tongue can be used by God to be one of the greatest instruments of blessing to you, or like poison that can kill or ruin your life – in some cases quickly and in other cases over a period of time. The Word from God says that WE WILL EAT from the fruit of our Words. You will get what you are saying. Your mind can’t take a hold of that but your spirit can. Let the Holy Spirit reveal that truth to you.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear the destructive phrases you say without thinking. “He is never going to change! I’m stuck with this situation and there is nothing I can do about it.” “Nothing goes my way.” “I am never going to get into a good relationship. There just isn’t any good men out there.” Words like this reveal that this is your thinking and this is your heart’s faith. What is in your heart comes out your mouth through that uncontrollable creature and not only influences what is around you good or bad through your words, but also influences the health of your body! We need to guard our hearts by speaking right words. Prov 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Again, that is true whether you believe it or not. Your mouth is the barometer of your heart. And an indicator of what your body is going to experience.

Don’t destroy your life and don’t destroy others. Prov 12:18 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand the power of Words. Then listen to what you say. You will become dependent upon the Lord for what it takes to change your words and controlling that little creature called the tongue. When you do, you’ll begin to succeed.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.


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