Taming the Tongue
Ever wish you could have a do-over? I know I sure do. I wish I didn't do or say things that would make me want a do-over, but sadly I find myself backpedaling as fast as I can sometimes. The other sad side of that is I didn't even see that the road was ending in a major drop off. By the time I get there and tumble off the edge my mind races to figure out what I did, what I said that got me wishing I had seen it coming. Then I find myself making promises to myself not to let it happen again. To think, think, think before I speak. And so the merry-go-round just keeps spinning.
Sound like anything familiar to you? This makes me think of the verse where Paul is talking about his own personal merry-go-round.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:15-20
We have to get to the place where we understand that we are redeemed. That we can tame our tongues by depending on the power of the Holy Spirit living in us. So that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:4 but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. Romans 8:13
Many of us find ourselves on the merry-go-round of needing to think before speaking. Not necessarily a struggle of cursing or having a potty mouth. No, I'm talking about words that we just speak that don't communicate well and that end up hurting instead of helping. Not necessarily with evil intent, but not thought out. Not measured carefully. Before we know it our words are carelessly swerving all over the place and we find ourselves driving off the edge of the road. The Bible has much to say about this subject. Here are some of them that I'd like to share.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15:4
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19
I'm challenging myself to tame my tongue. To apply these truths to my life. To fill myself with the Word...knowing that the fuller I get with good stuff that's in turn overflows from my mouth.
Do you have the same struggle I do? What has helped you?