Taming the Tongue
1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,a and set on fire by hell.b 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,c these things ought not to be so. 11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:1 – 12 ESV
Too often, I speak without thinking, I think without reason, and I reason without listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
That is when what I think I am saying turns into a thing I never intended to say.
One thing is clear; When the Spirit of God gives you utterance, it will most likely surprise you more than it surprises the listener. The reason that is so is, the Listener was looking for the answer deep in their heart, and the Spirit of God simply reveals the heart of the hearer, and He gave you utterance to that listener, despite of what “wisdom” you think you have..
My mouth will speak what is in my heart. My heart will believe what I choose for it to believe. When what I chose to believe is contradictory to the will of God, I have ceased to represent God, and the finished work of Christ. When I do this, I am reproved of God. He is gentle and loving, and does not condemn me when he corrects me. You can tell who the Children of God are when they correct you the same way. If I am wise, I learn…if I am a fool, I am broken on the truth. If I refuse to learn, then I am useless.
This is what I pray the Spirit of God will write on my heart:
Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” Luke 21:15, ESV – Jesus
This is true of every utterance you have. Wether in writing, or in speech, in thought or in deed. I must labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ, and allow the Spirit of God to do His mysterious and powerful work in me. To do anything else is rebellion against the One whom I say I have accepted in my heart.
Even Confucius understood this: “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant, then what ought to be done remains undone.”
Paul said it best:
15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…
I pray that the Spirit of God first teach me this wonderful love, and write it on my heart. I pray that, if I have to speak or write, under any circumstance, that I do it in the love He has poured into me. I pray that I do not rely on my own understanding, but learn to get myself out of the way before I attempt to tell anyone anything.
Let’s Be About It!
I love You,
David G. Perkins