09 Mar Letting God Control the Words You Say
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. It’s something you’d say on the playground to get kids to leave you alone, but we all know that it’s not true.
Words DO hurt. A lot.
You don’t have control over other people’s words, but you do have control over your own, and actually, the Bible says that you’ll have to give an account of all the words you say.
Controlling the Tongue
James 3:2-6 says:
We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. 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. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James compares the tongue to a bit in a horse’s mouth. The bit can make the horse turn any direction the rider wants to go.
Just like bits, your tongue has the power to change the course of your relationships and your life.
Have you ever had a relationship strained or even ruined because of something you said?
Honestly, I think everyone has.
James says that anyone is never says anything they don’t want to say is perfect.
Changing your words (and even the way you say those words) is a process.
The Overflow of the Heart
The tongue gets a bad reputation because it’s the most visible part of the body we have to link to what we say.
But you know that your tongue doesn’t say anything that your mind doesn’t think first.
So if you want to control your tongue, you have to start with the root of your problem. Your heart.
Luke 6:45 says:
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.
There are tons of verses that talk about how what we think affects our words, and I’ve included a lot of them in the Power of Words Bible study that’s in TMC this month.
What about you?
It’s easy to a listen/read lesson like this and think of someone ELSE who needs to hear it, right?
Even as I was getting this lesson ready, I could think of times in my life, some over a decade old, where someone said something to me that just cut me to the heart.
But you have to give grace if you want to get it. Because I know there are people out there who I’ve hurt with my thoughtless words. It’s the same for all of us, we have all hurt someone with our words.
Take a quick minute to think about the words YOU say. Do they build people up? Do you use your words to help others do better?
Or do you find yourself saying sarcastic things at the expense of other people? There’s nothing wrong with joking around, but is there always someone who’s at the end of your jokes?
Let’s all work to live by Ephesians 4:29:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Like I said, all this month in the Thriving Mom Club, we’re discussing the Power of Words. If you’re not familiar with it, the Thriving Mom Club is my Christian coaching program. Every month, we discuss a topic and I give you an exclusive audio Bible study to go deeper.
You’ve got to be in there if you want to have a more consistent and focused Bible study time.
What you say matters. And as a representative of Christ, you have a responsibility to tame your tongue. People are looking to you to see (and hear) Jesus.
I’m praying that as you dive into God’s Word that you allow it to fill your mind and ultimately change your tongue, too.