Psalm 39:1-3 “To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David. I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,”
We are a technology crazed society.
People will camp out overnight to get the latest communication device. All because it has a few more bells and whistles than the previous one. We wait in line for tickets to our favorite venue: music, sports, theater, and more.
We are bombarded daily; and for some, minute by minute, with the information that the news media outlets deem worthy. People talking at us as if we are dumb lemmings to follow along quietly believing every word they say is true. Their philosophy is that if they say it long enough, deliberately, and with passion, that we will take it as fact.
Talk radio has mastered the art of getting people to engage. they find a hot topic and present it such a manner that would incite emotion. Most people call in to express either extreme agreement or disagreement. There are very few who are calm enough to engage lightly and have an intelligent discourse.
Throughout the internet, there are videos of those expressing their views and quickly gain a following. Some of those views are so extreme, they have been the catalyst for today’s murderers. Trace back the two young men who took all those lives in Columbine, CO and you will find the hatred was incited by the music, and the websites they watched.
The tongue is one of the most powerful tools our bodies possess. God’s Word tells us:
James 3:5-8 “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
It is a fire, a world of iniquity, set on fire of hell. It cannot be tamed; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Those are mighty powerful words to say about a piece of flesh weighing only two and a half ounces. Yet, when that flesh is put into motion, it can move the masses. It can wound deeply and lift high. It can clear the clouded path and set a soul into motion.
The tongue has had the power to sway crowds, incite riots and hush a multitude. It has the ability to divide lifelong friends, destroy families and tear a soul to shreds in a matter of minutes. The tongue and the words we speak have power. Left to our own devices, we will prove every bit of the Bible true that the tongue is a world of iniquity.
Not one of us has been immune to it’s reach. Our ears have heard the rant of a tortured soul; the acerbic dart aimed carefully at our heart and shot with deadly accuracy. Many have suffered wounds beyond their ability to handle and have been driven to madness – even suicide… all because of words spoken by that 2.5 ounces of flesh in a person’s mouth.
We are told that no man, no woman can tame it. If that be true (and it is!), Then we must take heed as children of God to make sure that it is under the right influence, under right management; under the Holy Spirit’s control. Jesus showed us how.
John 8:28 “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”
Then He tells us how it will come about:
Matthew 10:20 “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”
The subject matter is simple:
Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”
Titus 2:10 “Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”
Our words reveal all too starkly what lies in abundance beneath.
Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
Our forefathers in the faith had their tongues ripped from their mouths for preaching the truth. Today, many suffer persecution for standing for their faith. But these thoughts are directed if to no one else but myself.
I live in a country where liberty and freedom have been bought at a precious price. I have been given freedom of speech; the ability to defend myself in a court of law, and freely preach the gospel to any and all that will hear. Yet, I often fail to speak a word for my Savior fearing the repercussions of those who may balk at the truth of what I say.
We associate what we think or know about a person by their words. I must pray daily the psalmist’s prayer:
Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
A Spirit-controlled tongue will edify, encourage and even admonish – but in the spirit of meekness. If we would only think what fruit we seek to gain with the words we speak. Fruit that would honor our Savior and ultimately point all who hear to God.
Let our hearts bur as our passage states, not with the fire of anger or of a deep wound, but of love for our Father and an extreme desire to please Him in all things – especially our words!