My heart has been arrested by God’s deep conviction on my heart. One of those areas includes my words, conversations, and joking. Everything I say now, I feel like I have to double check and make sure it is something that is worth saying. Not everything we think, we should say. Believe me, I am the first to admit having a lot to say…yet having to learn to not always talk. God has been teaching me to tame the beast inside me…the tongue. Our very way of communicating to each other, God is telling me to contain it. Control it. Teach it to be submissive to what is right and tame it. This is a constant struggle for me.
Words can hurt. We all know this. At some point words have cut deep into our core and stab us as if a knife. Words can painfully penetrate the insecurities and doubts within someone’s life. You and I have the power to uplift, respect and bring even life to someone with our words and conversations. However, the other side of this is that we also have a very powerful weapon against others that is very hard to tame. Though the first option is best, the second is far more common. The tongue is a weapon, a sword that cuts through someone bringing deep wounds that will become scars. Simple jokes, gossip, slander… Our words can murder. Can destroy. Can forever ruin. Gossip is poison that leaks from our lips. Life or death, a words will make that difference.
What are we to do?
You choose… life or death. Will you let your words honor others? Build them up? Edify? Encourage? Or will you speak death over others? Coarse joking? Gossip? Hatred?
Scientists say that the tongue is, if not the strongest, among the strongest muscles in the human body. How will you use that strength?
“let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” -James 1:19
“the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness” -James 3:6
“from the same mouth come blessing and cursing” -James 3:10
Here is something to think about.
Below is an excerpt from desiringGod website:
[ http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/20-resolutions-on-taming-the-tongue ]
1. I resolve to ask God for wisdom to speak out of a single-minded devotion to him. (1:5)
2. I resolve to boast only in the exultation I receive in Jesus Christ and also in the humiliation I receive for Jesus Christ. (1:9-10)
3. I resolve to set a watch over my mouth. (1:13)
4. I resolve to be constantly quick to hear and slow to speak. (1:19)
5. I resolve to learn the gospel way of speaking to both rich and poor. (2:1-4)
6. I resolve to speak in the present consciousness of my final judgment. (2:12)
7. I resolve never to stand on anyone’s face with the words I employ. (2:16)
8. I resolve never to claim as reality in my life what I do not truly experience. (3:14)
9. I resolve to resist quarrelsome words as evidence of a bad heart that needs to be mortified. (4:1)
10. I resolve never to speak decided evil against another out of a heart of antagonism. (4:11)
11. I resolve never to boast in anything but what I will accomplish. (4:13)
12. I resolve to speak as one subject to the providences of God. (4:15)
13. I resolve never to grumble. The judge is at the door. (5:9)
14. I resolve never to allow anything but total integrity in everything I say. (5:12)
15. I resolve to speak to God in prayer whenever I suffer. (5:13)
16. I resolve to sing praises to God whenever I’m cheerful. (5:14)
17. I resolve to ask for the prayers of others when I’m in need. (5:14)
18. I resolve to confess it whenever I have failed. (5:15)
19. I resolve to pray with others for one another whenever I am together with them. (5:15)
20. I resolve to speak words of restoration when I see another wander. (5:19)
I hope and pray that this affects you and causes you to, at least, evaluate yourself and your tongue. I desire to love God fully and with my all… that definitely needs to include my speech, words, conversation, joking… if not I am simply living a lie. Only a Pharisee. How do your words, conversations, and jokes affect others? Even more… how do they truly affect you?