Sunday, December 21, 2008

Taming the Tongue

Every year sparks from hot tempers or careless words start fires which consume millions of lives in beautiful relationships. Once begun, these fires move unrelenting through self-esteem and trust - nothing is safe from the fury of the tongue.

James 3:5-6
"Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body."

Our tongue has incredible power to build up and encourage - it also has an enormous ability to tear down and destroy. "But I tell you that men will have to give accouont on the day of judgment for every carless word they have spoken." (Matthew 12:36) God holds us accountable for the fires we set.

David prayed that God would "set a guard over my mouth and keep watch over the door of my lips." Psamlms 141:2. While this is a wise prayer, it must be seen as an absolute last line of defense - once our words escape they can almost never be fully recovered.

A much better fire prevention plan is to control the sparks at the true source. "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Matthew 12:34. If our heart is filled with the ways of the world, our mouth will naturally speak the world's wisdom.. However, "the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight." 1 Corinthians 3:19. Rather, we must fill our heart with the ways of God and allow our mouth to overflow with His wisdom. "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin agains You." Psalms 119:11.

Let's look at the results of our tongue. If there are raging fires or even smoldering embers, we must pray for healing and restoration. The damage may look severe, "but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26. We then must so fill our heart with the power of His Word that we truly "do not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths." Ephesians 4:29. Let's stop the fires. Let's begin today to fill our heart and prevent the sparks.

Merry Christmas and may you all rest in the Love and Peace that comes from our Savior.

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