by Pastor Tim Burt
We’ve definitely entered into a new season of time when it comes to cultural behavior. For years, modern society prided itself in leaving unruly barbaric actions and conversations behind, and becoming a more restrained, appropriate in our speaking and embracing all of our fellow man equally. I think most people today would agree with me that we’ve gone backwards. Maybe social media giving everyone a more public voice they never had before is a part of that. Definitely hiding behind fake names so that people can say and do whatever they want in social media, is created a boldness for letting it all fly! I have said and written for some time, that culture was not to define Christianity or how God wants us to live, but that we as Christians, were to be a restraining force on culture by showing them the way, beginning with ourselves!
I don’t know anyone whose tongue hasn’t gotten them in trouble at some point in life. Mine sure has. Prior to becoming a Christian, I used to think my tongue was uncontrollable. The Bible taught me differently. I learned that God wants me to learn to control it with the help of the Holy Spirit—the only one who can tame it.
James 3:8-10 NIV instructs us of a profound truth. “… no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison…”
James 3:3-6 NIV 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 the tongue is this unruly, then what can we possibly do? The first step is to recognize this truth and come to grips with it. None of us can fix our tongue ourselves. God is not lying or exaggerating when He says “…NO MAN can tame the tongue.” 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.
Proverbs 18:21 NIV says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” The Word from God says that WE WILL EAT from the fruit of our Words. You will experience the consequences of your words—good or bad.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear the destructive words or phrases you that spill from your mouth so easily. Such as… He is never going to change! Or, I’m stuck with this situation and there is nothing I can do about it. Or, Nothing goes my way. Or, I’m never going to find the right man to build a life with. There just isn’t any good men out there. And on and on! Words like this reveal that this is your thinking and this is your heart’s faith—or lack of it! If you pray for one thing but turn around and say the opposite is going to happen, wouldn’t that indicate that there is zero faith in your words or your heart!
What is in your heart comes out your mouth through that uncontrollable creature called the tongue. The words you speak are containers of power that spill from you and either bless or contaminate your world. And they even influence your health. Proverbs 12:18 NIV “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Your words affect everything and because they do, we need to guard our hearts by learning to speaking right words. Proverbs 4:23 NIV 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 faith and body is going to experience.
Don’t destroy your life and don’t destroy others. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand the power of Words. Then listen to what you say. You’ll fail, I promise you. But let that make you become dependent upon the Lord for what it takes to change your words and control that little creature called the tongue. When you lean on Him, you will sense His grace and help in restraining your tongue and feel great for it! Walking down this road will result in an absolute transformation of life and path to greater blessing!
Proverbs 15:4 (NIV) “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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