Controlling Your Tongue
What’s better than being able to speak six languages? Keeping your mouth shut when your tongue is about to veer out of control! An unbridled tongue splits families and churches. The real problem is an unbridled mind.
A Christian teacher’s tongue is a small but powerful organ. A tongue which Jesus Christ controls can be a great blessing. An uncontrolled tongue can do untold damage. Adolf Hitler’s tongue was largely responsible for starting World War II. An estimated 70–85 million people perished in the war.1
Those who teach the Christian faith use their tongues, but it’s hazardous duty. They’re more accountable. God judges them more strictly (verse 1). Why? Those who tell others how to live can’t claim ignorance when they don’t live that way themselves. But, those God calls and gifts to teach who refuse to do so are equally blameworthy.
The teacher’s tongue, like a bit and rudder, can provide invaluable guidance. It can also lead people astray. It’s like a surgeon’s scalpel. Used carefully, it brings healing. Used irresponsibly, it can kill. Like fire, the effects of the tongue can be devastating. Careless, unwise words can start a “fire” quicker than gasoline and matches.
The tongue is “a world of evil” (verse 6). It’s behind almost every sin. The mind which controls the tongue corrupts the whole body. The tongue expresses covetousness, idolatry, blasphemy, lust, and greed. Each springs from the mind and pollutes the whole personality. The devil is the source of the tongue’s inflaming nature. But there’s another fire. It purifies the tongue and prepares it for service. That’s the fire of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). It’s the fire in the “live coal” which purified Isaiah’s lips (Isaiah 6).
You can’t control your tongue by yourself (James 3:8). Your tongue, like a cobra, is packed with deadly poison. It can blight a reputation or smear a character by injecting only a few toxic words.
The tongue is as changeable as the weather (James 3:9–12). It praises God and curses people who are made in God’s likeness. If your speech is inconsistent, it’s because you aren’t allowing the Holy Spirit to control you.
Fig trees, grapevines, and salt springs produce predictable products. Your speech reveals who you really are. If your tongue frequently veers out of control, you need new management. Like the current in a power line, your tongue is too hot to handle. Let the Holy Spirit be the stepdown transformer in your life, and your speech will be useful for service. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources
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