It’s Mug Monday! Join me this summer for the weekly mug (some mine, some yours, & some borrowed). We will seek to make some sense out of the wisdom or humor written on its side. Pull up a chair and join me in a cup of coffee!
I need to drink my coffee out of today’s mug every day. The wisdom recorded on its side highlights an area of weakness in my own life and voices a prayer for God’s divine and supernatural help. Yes, Lord! Help me to hold my tongue!
The Bible is not silent – yes, pun intended – on matters of our speech. Jesus’ half-brother James described the tongue like this:
“So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself.” James 3:5-6, NLT
On first read we may roll our eyes and think dear James is a bit dramatic. But if we are totally honest with ourselves we know he’s right. I’ve seen it happen in my own life. More times than I’d like to admit.
My words have wounded. My words have torn down. My words have defeated and deflated and even destroyed. And they cannot be taken back. What takes only a second to do, then takes a long time – if ever – to heal.
The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about our tongues as well. Here are two that have specifically spoken to me recently:
- “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Proverbs 10:19, NLT
- “Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18, NLT
So, if you’re like me and struggle with keeping your tongue in check, what can we do? First, we must realize that what comes out of our mouths is only a symptom of the real problem. Jesus Himself got right to the heart of the matter:
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 9:34, NLT
While discipline of our speech can help, we can only “hold” our tongues for so long. To get to the root of the problem and permanently stem the “flow,” we must have a heart change. We must ask, then allow, the Holy Spirit to change our attitudes and thought patterns. And unfortunately, this won’t happen overnight. It will be a long – and sometimes painful – process.
Are you up to the challenge? Join me in this prayer of David:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24, NLT
Give this some thought: Name one attitude of your heart that directly impacts what comes out of your mouth.