The Bible says we all stumble when it comes to our words.They can build others up or tear them down. How do you tame your tongue?
“Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:34-37
For the past two weeks we’ve been discussing what we take in. Today, we’re going to talk about the things we put out, but remember: they are always connected, what you soak up eventually shows up!
That’s what the verses above are talking about. The words of your mouth spring from your heart. They show what’s really in there. No matter how you try present yourself to others, what you say gives the real you away.
That’s more than just a little scary, isn’t it?
James 3:2 says, “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.”
The implication here is that we ALL mess up with our mouths, that one of the smallest parts of our bodies is the most difficult to manage. Do you agree with that?
I know I do.
So how do we tame our tongues? How do we reign them in and get them under control?
First, we start with our hearts, with our minds, and with the things with which we fill them. That’s what we’ve been discussing here these past two weeks.
Today, add to that an effort to hold your tongue, to keep it from “careless words,” you know, the ones that come out before you’ve actually stopped to think about them.
Because according to Matthew, we’re going to have to give an account for them.
I don’t know about you, but my tongue needs taming. It always has. My mother used to tell me (much like I often tell one of my kids…there’s always ONE, right?), “You don’t have to say EVERYTHING you think.”
There are times to speak up and times to keep quiet.
And, we need wisdom, don’t we?
As parents, we need to know how to answer our kids’ questions. We need to know how to use our words to encourage them one moment and instruct them the next. We need to prevent our tongues from becoming weapons that wound.
They need to be tools that train.
We can use them to build up other believers or help those who are hurting.
We can use them to share the good news with those who need it.
We can use them to show love and lead others to the light.
And that’s the scary part.
Because just as easily as our tongues can bring others in, they can also shut them out. They can be a witness or they can ruin one.
So, how do we tame them?
Day by day and moment by moment with truth that transforms.
That’s why I thought I’d finish this posts with some verses to encourage you in the important work of wrangling your words.
10 Bible Verses to Encourage You to Tame Your Tongue
Psalm 34:12-13 – “Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.”
Proverbs 10:11 – “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life…”
Proverbs 10:19 – “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.”
Proverbs 10:21 – “The lips of the righteous nourish many…”
Proverbs 10:31 – “From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced.”
Proverbs 11:12 – “Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.”
Proverbs 12:18 – “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Proverbs 15:1 – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:4 – “The soothing tonge is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 16:23-24 – “The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
I’d love to hear from you about how you tame your tongue. What makes it difficult? Do you have a favorite verse that helps keep your mouth in check? Leave a comment and let me know!
Related Post: Using the Fruit of the Spirit to Tame Your Tongue
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