The Skillful Tongue – Part Two

Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

Prov 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

Can I tell on myself? I want to tell a story on me from a few years back.

At home I have my favorite chair. I don’t know why but our cat loved my chair. I would often find her sitting in it and I didn’t care except on rare occasions. One day I was wearing a black suit. As I was about to sit down, there was our cat in my chair. That means that the chair was full of cat hairs that would get all over my suit when I sat down. I picked up my cat nicely, but said to her firmly, “Cuddles, please pick the other chair. I don’t want you sitting in my chair.” I then set her down gently in the other chair. I laughed after. I pictured myself in one of those cartoons when someone is talking to their cat and all the cat hears is “blah, blah, blah…” My talk with my cat was pointless. It made me feel better for a moment but it was still pointless. It reminds me of the people trying to communicate in ineffective ways that turn out to be pointless such as yelling and screaming at each other. They may as well be saying, “blah, blah, blah…”

Why do we end up in various kinds of pointless communication? Mostly because we have not considered our tongues one of the greatest God-given tools we have. He has given us our tongue to learn to use skillfully – blessing others which will at the same time contribute to our success. But, as we learned yesterday, the Bible tells us that “…no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” We in ourselves cannot tame our tongue. It only comes under control with the help of the Holy Spirit. The truth and revelation of Prov 18:21,”The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit,” will hopefully instill the fear of God on how important the words we speak are and how powerfully they affect our lives. They can be used skillfully to contribute to the well being of others or to tear down the lives of others and ourselves.

We have to realize that our tongue spills over with whatever is in our hearts. We are all too unaware of all that is in our hearts. How do we find out what’s in there? Just listen to what spills from your mouth. The tongue is an extension of your thought-life. In Mat 12:34 Jesus said, “…For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” There are times where out of discipline, we all force ourselves to say the appropriate thing – especially if there is a direct benefit. But then there are times when we are by our self or around those we feel most comfortable with. It’s at those times we often let our guard down resulting in our tongue loosely spilling what is ever in our heart or thought life. It’s those times that leave many regrets.

God wants us to succeed in how we communicate and so instructs in Eph 5:4 saying, “Dirty stories, profane conversation, and coarse jokes–these are not for you. Instead, remind each other of God’s goodness, and be thankful.” Eph 4:29 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 impart grace to those who listen.”

What does it mean, “…that it may impart grace to those who listen”? Grace is the supernatural help we get from God in all areas of life. It’s the combination of His mercy, His compassion, instruction from His Word, and His direct help. The imparting of grace is a supernatural thing. If we are to impart grace, then that means that God is going to be involved in it. His grace will help us put away the fleshly impulses to verbally lash out that come with being offended. It means He is going to help us see things from a different perspective – His perspective. That is where the grace will come from – His perspective in us.

Imagine that you feel like blasting a person that has offended you in some way. Instead God speaks to your heart and says, “Put your thoughts and words on pause, don’t slam dunk them because that’s how the devil does business. Instead, think for a minute. I have forgiven you. I have had mercy on you. You’ve blown it just like this person you’re mad at. I’ve had to look past your sins to love you. Can you do it for them? Can you settle down and let me help you? Can you instead find kind words to speak truth, kindness, mercy, and help to them? Forget how they’ll receive it. Your part is to impart grace to them.”

Can you do this on your own? Usually not! Your soulish man usually wants to lash out. A tongue lashing is like the caged animal just waiting to get out. Prov 12:6 says, “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.” God wants you to be a vessel of His grace. It isn’t about suppressing feelings of anger, or hurt, or disappointment. It’s about God helping you see things in such a way, that you can sincerely forgive and move past them and then represent Him by imparting words of grace.

God’s grace is available. He says it’s available. It’s accessed by faith. 2 Cor 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” God wants it to abound in your life. You have to exercise your faith and pull on God for it in difficult times. Over time you will become supernaturally skillful drawing on Him for words that impart life and blessing instead of death and cursing. As today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “…but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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


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