Saturday, December 13, 2008

"The Power of the Tongue"

Here's a little secret about me - Sometimes I'm opinionated and outspoken and, may occasionally even want to have the last word, particularly with my husband. Can you believe it, sweet, little ole me?! So, let me tell you, I need to be reminded of the Scriptures I've included and live by them.

I wrote the poem below and did a study on the power of the tongue for a Bible study I was teaching some years ago and was reminded of this as I was talking to my brother the other day and was referring to James, 

chapter 3.

Well, wouldn't you know it, turns out I kind of needed this today. I was offended over something stupid and wanted to argue and say things I knew I shouldn't. It was only by the grace of God that I didn't speak. It felt like the hand of the Holy Spirit was placed over my mouth.

After my initial inner turmoil I decided to humble myself before the Lord, hold my tongue, repent for my thoughts and follow Him. Immediately my burden was lifted and I had peace. I always do when I obey the Lord. After all, He is the Lord who calms the storms and gives us life.

Because of my decision to keep peace, my husband and I ended up having a nice day together and enjoyed our time together. If I had said the thing I had planned, let me tell you, it would have been quite a different day and so not worth it just to speak my mind, not to mention dishonoring to God.

Sometimes there are misunderstandings between us simply because we are human and pride gets in the way. We need grace and humility to lean on the Word of God everytime, everyday and for every situation to help us to choose rightly.

The Good News is that the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). It will turn our thinking and our heart around to beat as one with the Father.

There are times when we may think that we're right and we want to be heard. But as we continually turn to the Lord He will fill our mouths with good things or keep us quiet when we ought not speak if we will but humble ourselves before Him and heed His voice. I know I need His help daily and God is faithful to give me the direction and correction I need as His child.

Thank You Lord for keeping me from sinning against You with my mouth and for cleansing my thought life with Your Word. I praise You once again for Your amazing mercy and grace.

Even while my flesh is fighting for its own way You continue to draw me near to Yourself that I may choose the way of righteousness. May I continually be humbled in Your presence, submitted unto You, to obey the voice of God. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Be swift to hear and slow to speak
Control the tongue and be complete.
It blesses God and curses men
It ought not be in sin it ends.
Let the words you speak be few
Life not death, My love to choose.
Not to judge, nor evil speak
Lest its very fruit to eat.
For God is Judge and knows the way
Who is able to destroy and able to save.
Be not foolish, hold your peace
Be sober, watchful, yourself to keep.
Let your speech always be seasoned with salt
Full of God's grace, meek, without fault.
Pleasant words are like honey, sweet to the soul
Let My Word fill your heart, your lips to control.

James 1:19-20 - So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 3:6 - And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
Colossians 4:6 - Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Psalm 141:3 - Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Proverbs 16:24 - Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
Proverbs 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
(Other Scripture references: Ecc. 5:2-3, Pro. 10:19, 17:27-28, 18:6-8, Jas. 3:2-12, 4:11-12, 1 Pet. 5:8)

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