A tennis match I played earlier this week inspired me to write a message which is found throughout the bible: The words you use define your character.
Our words have an effect on others; they also have an effect on us. When we speak evil, we not only reveal the sin in our own hearts, we also reinforce evil and allow the enemy to grow within ourselves.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45).
Jesus said, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” (Matthew 15:11) Later in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus also said “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” In essence, untamed tongues reflect the heart of all men and women.
What about godly folks that slip and curse out of anger or frustration? Since we are all sinners and likely to deviate from the narrow path along our spiritual walk, it is understandable for God’s children to lose control of their tongues. Notice I used “understandable” rather than “acceptable” which is in tune with the word of God.
“We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his 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 person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (James 3:2-10)
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33-37)
Will you be acquitted or condemned upon judgment day? It is important to remember when we refuse to express ourselves through impure, unkind, ungodly thoughts, we begin to choke and strangle the evil in our souls, we strive for God’s acquittal.
That’s why the wise man said in Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” By guarding our lips and carefully choosing the words we speak we starve the evil that is gnawing relentlessly at our souls and allow the spirit to flow from our lips.
Do we want to put an end to the evil that so easily rises within us? With God’s help, we can learn to control our tongue. “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” (Proverbs 21:23)
By obeying the Lord and His commands, we will project a more disciplined image of ourselves and help others improve themselves as well. Remember our mission in this life is not only to better ourselves in the eyes of God, but we are expected to inspire others to improve their character.
Watch what you say! It defines who you are.
We thank you for your blessings in our lives
And ask you to set a guard upon our lips,
Help us evaluate each thought
And through the spirit within us, help us choose every word carefully.
We pray that you’ll inspire us to speak no evil
To avoid use of gossip and profanity,
And allow our words to flow from our hearts.
God we thank you for looking after us, our families and friends
And for answering the prayers of those who seek you,
We thank you for your love and your forgiveness
And for patiently guiding our footsteps each and every day.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre