“The Power of Our Mouths”
Would you trust your child to use something that is described as “a restless evil, full of deadly poison”? Would you trust yourself with something like that? Well those are the words the Bible uses in James 3:8 to describe the tongue. God’s Word describes the tongue as something small that can do great damage and that is unable to be tamed.
My parents recall that when I was younger I didn’t talk much. I was extremely shy. Part of the reason I was shy is because I didn’t want to say anything dumb, and you can’t say anything dumb if you don’t say anything! Was I wise beyond my years? No. I just knew how harsh kids can be and I didn’t want to give out any material that could potentially embarrass me or cause me to be made fun of unless I really trusted the person. If you want to know the damage the tongue can do, talk to some of our Middle and High school students and listen to some of the things people say about one another. The deadly poison that James describes has caused a lot of insecurity in our society.
The book of James goes on to say that we both praise God and curse others with our tongues, and it’s true though it shouldn’t be this way. Our mouths are powerful tools to bring good in this world. With our mouths we sing praises to God. We tell others about Him. We encourage and teach and correct to help people know Christ. God can do so many great things if we use our tongues correctly! But unfortunately, we are tempted to let our emotions get the best of us and we use our tongues to slander, put others down, tell half-truths and lies, and go against the will and work of God.
So what do we do? James already says in chapter 3 v. 8 that no human being can tame the tongue. While that’s true, God is able to tame it. Matthew 12:34 states, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” If we want our mouths to speak good things, we need to treat the source and make sure our hearts are healthy and full of goodness. Seek to be in a place where you harbor no bitterness, no jealousy, no pride, but rather love others and God in a deep and profound way. See your words as a tool to glorify God and use it responsibly. If our hearts are the well and our mouths are what spews out everything drawn from that well, then the solution is to make sure our hearts are filled with a desire to please God. May the church be the place where insults, slander, gossip, and complaining are not tolerated and let’s create a culture of accountability where we seek God to use our words to build one another up and testify to His goodness.
It’s a joy to serve with you all,