Scripture in James warns us that our tongues are destructive and we should be cautious of that. James 3:6 says, “And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself,” and James 3:8 says, “…but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.”
Once the words we speak leave our mouths, we can’t take them back, no ifs, ands, or buts. We’ve all experienced the ever-so trusty ‘foot-in-mouth disease’, and have then been tempted to grab at the air in an attempt to take our words from being heard. Unfortunately, it is far too late by that point.
Our words wield the power to build up, and likewise, the power to tear down. They also carry the power to bring glory to God, or the power to bring glory to ourselves. What category do your words fall under? It’s no challenge to us to barely even think about what we’re speaking, because we’re doing it so much. Think about the sheer amount of words that you say in twenty four hours. Think of the conversations with coworkers, strangers, loved ones, or even the words you speak to yourself. As you reflect, which words brought the attention to Him?
If I honestly ask myself, the answer to that question would be…not many. It seems in the course of a day I spend more time either making idle chat, complaining, or bringing others down. Jesus isn’t even in the equation.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath,” James 1:19 writes. This brings light to the fact that sometimes we’re speaking in such great amounts, we fail to silence and listen to God–we neglect the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I don’t know about you, but how do I have the audacity to do such a thing?
In Matthew 15:18 Jesus tells Peter that the words we speak come directly from the heart. A heart that is intertwined with the Lord in daily prayer and bible study is a heart that is less likely to use their gift of speech for sin. Indeed, mistakes will still be made as we’re still human beings, but we will be more conscious of what flows from our mouths.
Go to the Lord today, He is there. Ask Him to bring attention to what’s in your heart that is causing your words, and to give you a sense of attention and awareness for what we speak. Ask Him for understanding on when to be like James 1:19 and be slow to speak. Above all, thank God for always loving and staying beside you, even when you don’t do the same.
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