Jesus never said, “Say it and get it off your chest. It will make you feel better!” He did say, “Speak the truth in LOVE.” There is a tremendous difference in those two statements and in all of it we have to know God looks at our hearts…the motives behind what we do and say!
For anyone, including myself, to walk around and think we can say anything we “FEEL” like is just wrong. I am amazed every day at the verbal freedoms people feel they can take…from name calling…to lashing out. As always, when I write, it benefits and convicts me the most. Let’s get to it and unpack some of what Scripture teaches all of us about the TONGUE.
What the Bible calls the “Sword of the Spirit,” a.k.a. Scripture, is the most powerful truth we can read and implement:
James 3:6, “The tongue also is fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
James 3:8, “..but NO human can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
Proverbs 13:3, “Those who GUARD their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak RASHLY will come to ruin.”
Proverbs 12:23, “The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.”
Proverbs 12:16, “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the PRUDENT OVERLOOK an insult.”
Proverbs 8: 8a, “…a chattering fool comes to ruin.”
Proverbs 10:19, “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the PRUDENT hold their tongue.”
Proverbs 10:21, “The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.”
Proverbs 11:17, “Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.”
Proverbs 14:15b, “but the prudent give thought to their steps.”
Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but A HARSH WORD stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of a fool GUSHES FOLLY.”
Proverbs 15:14b, “but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”
Proverbs 15:18, “A hot tempered person stirs up conflict, but one who is PATIENT calms a quarrel.”
Proverbs 16:32, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with SELF-CONTROL than one who takes a city.”
Proverbs 17:7, “Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool–”
Proverbs 17:20, “one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.”
Proverbs 17:27, “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even tempered.”
Proverbs 17:28, “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning it they hold their tongue.”
Proverbs 18:2, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinion.”
Just from reading these scriptures, and there are many more, we find it is better to “hold your tongue” than to wag it. WE, in our flesh, cannot tame our tongue. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit, with a surrendering to God, is there a possibility to not commit “murder”. The tongue packs “death” power and the ones who speak it are looking at DEATH. WE can be walking around but still be dead because of our tongue. We also “kill” other people along the way.
The most sobering of all Scripture on the tongue is found in Matthew 12:36-37, “But I tell you everyone will have to give an account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Empty words. Wow!
Just before this Scripture Jesus says, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of!” (Matthew 12:35). It continues to say, a good man/woman brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man/woman brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
Basically it boils down to our tongue being a “HEART ” issue. It is easy to distinguish good from evil just by what we say and what we hear others say. What does my/your tongue tell others about what is on our heart?
It is one of two things–Good or Evil