Taming of the Tongue [Part 1]
Proverbs 10:8 NIV The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
No where has this been better proven than in the last election! Not just in one person but in two different candidates in two different states no less! In least in the case of the candidate in my state of Missouri, the change of one simple word would have completely changed the potential outcome of the election. Mr. Akin choose to use the word “legitimate” instead of something as “verifiable” or “proven”. The simple exchange of one word that in other context would be interchangeable cost him the margin, and ultimately the race here in Missouri. This also happened in the state of Illinois! This begs the question, when did we stop listening to our grandparents when they told us to “always think before you speak”.
I think that there are a couple of lessons that we can take away from these examples!
1. God gave us two ears and one mouth, maybe it was with the intent that we should listen more than we speak!
I know that the statement above is not original to me, but it is something that I still tell my own children as well as the students that I minister two on a regular basis! Look at what Proverbs 17:27 has to say “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” Knowing when to listen and when to speak is a skill that many men are missing today! We see speaking, especially louder or over someone else as a means of dominance, showing superiority, but if we see our words as a tool, knowing when to use words and when to allow the Holy Spirit to work we become skilled at using such a powerful weapon!
2. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18 says “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” We carry a weapon that is like no other weapon found on earth, it pierces to the inner soul, you can destroy, or build up, you can scar or heal. As a man, we are called to be leaders in our homes, our community, our church; how do you lead with your tongue? What role do you fill in those places of leadership, do you breakdown and destroy or do you build up, encourage!
3. Your words show the true nature of your heart!
Luke 6:45 “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” No matter how much you profess to be a believer, a good Christian, your words will always betray you! In particular, if you are only paying lip service to your Christian walk, other believers will know just by the way that you speak. When someone has walked with God (died to self), spoken with God (prayer), spent time with God (Bible reading), their words and actions are noticeably different.
Let me leave you with this last passage from the Bible for today! Matthew 12:36 “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, “