January 3, 2008

speaking.jpgWords. We use them every day of our lives. Speaking and using words is the basis for how we communicate with each other. But do we ever really think about the impact of our words? The Bible has several things to say about words:

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19)

“A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” (Proverbs 12:17-19)

“A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28)

“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2)

“Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” (Proverbs 21:9)

“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.” (Proverbs 26:20-21)

“He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.” (Proverbs 28:23)

Most important, though, the book of James says this about the tongue:

“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:7-8)

Do you see what Scripture says about “taming the tongue?” It says “you can’t.” The tongue cannot be tamed. You may be able to tame a horse, a dog, or even your children, but it is not possible to tame the tongue by ourselves. We need an intercessor, a redeemer for our tongues and that is the God-man Christ Jesus. With Jesus we can ask for his empowering grace to tame our tongue. Only through the power of Jesus can we redeem our tongues and use them as vessels of glorification to Him.

The problem with the tongue is that what flows from the tongue also flows from the heart. Therefore, if you have a problem with your tongue, you really have a problem with your heart. And only God can correct your heart.

Dr. Paul David Tripp says in War of Words, “Words belong to God, but he has lent them to us so that we might know him and be used by him.” (Tripp, 15).

God gives you the gift of using words. When we use words harmfully or selfishly we are not being good stewards of what God has given us. And when we don’t exalt God by using our words, we exalt Satan, who is the great deceiver of words (see Genesis 3).

Who do your words worship? God or Satan? Are you trying to tame your tongue? You can’t tame it apart from the grace of God. Have you repented of your words and of your sin that comes from your heart? Words reveal our heart. Make it your New Years’ Resolution that God will enter your heart and tame it so that you may find peace and so that may more fully live a life glorifying Him. When we repent of our sins we know that God’s grace is sufficient and that His power is made perfect in our weakness. Praise God for words and praise Him for the ability to use them correctly!


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