“When words are many sin is NOT absent!” Proverbs 10:19…… When God decided to put this in Scripture, I think HE had Sherry Bradshaw in mind. Here of late, after reading this Scripture, I have put myself in “solitary confinement”. I seriously needed much solitude to read, pray, confess and let God get a “hold of my tongue.” Just one spark of the “tongue” can set a whole forest on fire. Just reading the Scripture in Matthew that says on the day of judgment we will give an account of EVERY idle (careless) word we have spoken causes me to pause. Fear is never from God, but CONVICTION IS, and that really CONVICTS ME!!!!
As I have said before, I am a work in progress. We all are, but the GOAL is to be “more like Christ!” That is a tall order for me or anyone but it is truly how I want to finish in life and it is God’s desire for everyone. To be more like Christ, God may decide to rip my tongue right out of my mouth or make me “MUTE”. LOL…… (I am trying to be light- hearted but in the same breath I am serious because God is real serious about the tongue) Because we do serve a loving God who is very patient and long suffering over my/our sin, I know HE knows my heart and desire to intentionally and fervently work on this area!!!! I know that I will have victory. I have HIS help and know HE desires this for me……and for YOU!!!!! In fact, Scripture talks about the tongue in the book of James. Man has tamed all kinds of wild animals but no man has TAMED THE TONGUE. IT is only through the power of God, HIS help, that the tongue can be tamed! So it is my intent to share with you how God is helping me!
For starters, I try to talk less…as I mentioned earlier!! LOL……If you know me personally, you know this, in and of itself, is a REAL CHALLENGE FOR ME!!! We have all heard the expressions, “Count to 10” or “Think before you speak”. Well, I love the Scripture that gives me tools or action steps for my tongue…and the one that has been most helpful to me is James 1:19, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce righteousness that God REQUIRES.” This sounds so simple but if you take it to heart, maybe even focus on being a BETTER LISTENER,……and after listening……count to ten…then ask God, “How would you have me to speak?” This process can really slow you down……when you put yourself……on a system…of self-control with action steps…It is amazing how sometimes in my own life GOD REDIRECTS what I would have normally said (which is self and not God-controlled).
Remember, James talks about “bridling the tongue”. I have realized even though the tongue is the very small, soft, really unseen part of the body……it is lethal…very, very, very poisonous! One lash of the tongue can kill!!!! Yes, my/our words murder people! When people get hit or have a broken bone or are seriously injured, we see the outward signs. But the WOUNDS OF THE TONGUE go unseen……. This is soooooooooo NOT GOOD. WE ALL tend to operate on the thought, “If we don’t see it, then we don’t believe it or we only believe what we see.” Remember this, it is God and His word that says the “tongue”, our words, KILL!!! I didn’t say it. God did. Enough said.
I know I have murdered with my words. I would give anything if I could take back thousands of words spoken over my lifetime……….I pray all the time for God to heal the people I have hurt by my words. Both the ones I know about and the ones I don’t. Yes, I believe all of us have spoken idle words that have hurt and we have NO CLUE!!! With that being said, repentance, God’s grace and mercy, His restoration and the Power of Him Changing me is where I live. Forgetting what lies behind and pressing on!
Years ago I read a story that really gave me a great picture of what happens with our idle words. I hope I tell the story correctly and that it will give you a visual for CARELESS WORDS. Here goes: A young girl was brought before the Chief in her tribe. She was guilty of telling untrue things about another woman in their tribe. The chief was to assign her the punishment due. He told her to take a dead chicken that she was given and walk to the river and back plucking its feathers as she went. So that is what she did. When she returned to the Chief with the naked chicken, he told her to now go back and gather up “every feather” she had plucked from the chicken. She was terrified! She said, “How can I do this? What you ask is impossible! The wind has spread the feathers everywhere!” And the Chief replied, “This is the same lesson with your words. You cannot control where they were taken thus you can never gather them back!”
As Scripture teaches, the “Tongue” is a small part of our bodies. Like a rudder that guides a large ship, it directs our lives. For our lives to move in a desired positive direction then a great idea would be to “Bridle OUR TONGUE!” Would it not be better to have God’s word on our tongue when we are ready to speak? Words that soothe? Words that do not crush?
Proverbs 15:4 “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”
2 Samuel 23:2, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.”
Psalm 15:1-3, “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others;”