Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Taming the Tongue


Scripture:  James 3 v 6 - 8: "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. 
7  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: 
8  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."

Matthew 26 v 73 - 75: "And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
74  Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
75  And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly."

As Christians we are to be like Jesus was when He was on Earth, a blessing to those whom we can reach with the truth. We are to forsake cursing and swearing for these words are the manifestation of demons.

Our speech should reflect who reigns within. We should never use the name of Jesus as a curse word. The enemies of Jesus fear the power in His name and try to minimise it by making it something evil.

Its not only witches and satanists who invoke curses. Every person with an ugly speech pattern is a channel through which curses land on people's lives. So we must not permit such foul language in our presence or through music or TV. We must teach our children to be a blessing and not learn bad words from their schoolmates.

If we have used curse words and are being attacked financially or in other ways, we have opened this door with our own mouths.  With that same mouth we need to confess our wrongdoings to the Lord Jesus and repent (change our mind) about such behaviour. Jesus will always forgive us but we must rather close that door forever.

Its easy to fall into bad habits and then to justify ourselves and pretend that God is okay with this. Look what happened to Peter in Matthew 26. After Jesus was arrested all the disciples fled but Peter followed behind. At the temple courtyard several people pointed Peter out as one of the men who had been with Jesus. He kept denying it. Someone said to him - Your speech betrays you! Immediately Peter started swearing and using foul language!!

Is your clean speech a witness to others of your love for Jesus? It can be a powerful way of showing the difference to those on the outside. So decide today to be a blessing to many and have a clean mind and mouth!

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives is self-control or temperance.  He gives us the ability to control our thoughts, speech, temper, honesty, addictions, sexuality, morals and manners.  He is far away from the manifestations of the Toronto Movement which encourages raucous laughter, hissing, barking, screaming, roaring, whistling and really over the top behaviour, which is counted for revival.  He is Holy, and cherishes a meek and quiet spirit.  

Revival starts with extreme sorrow for sin and a desire for repentance.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit will bring conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment.  It is no laughing matter.  Another fruit that grows within is joy.  The joy of the Lord is our strength, also not to be confused with uncontrollable laughter.

Through self-control we tame our tongue and clean up our speech.  We renew our minds according to the Word of God.  We are given the ability to change our habits and bring our temperament into line with God's will for us.  He sets us free of anger, rage, violence, swearing, and other forms of abuse.  Only He can make these changes as we submit and allow Him free reign.

We need to exert self-control against gossip, slander, undermining, lies which damage people's reputation.  There are serious consequences to situations like online bullying which have led to selfharming and even suicide.  We must not only tame our tongue but also the wrongful use of social media to target victims from an unseen laptop or mobile phone.

Another very serious use of our tongues is racial slurs.  We always want to be better than the next person and will use obvious differences to score points against them.  Politicians campaigning for position are just as bad, if not worse, in their insults against their rivals.  As Jesus said to the Pharisees who wanted to kill the woman who was caught in adultery, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

It always bothers me that if she was caught in adultery, who was the man and why was he not being stoned together with her?  We are so quick to judge and we need to calm our anger down and examine all the facts before making life-threatening decisions.

Spreading a lie can result in murder.  Spreading racial hatred can result in riots, injuries and even death.  The tongue is set on fire by Hell and can create severe and dangerous situations. 

None of these things are acceptable to our Father.  Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites and evil because they laid heavy burdens on their followers which they did not do themselves.   Only hypocrites should be openly rebuked.

Jesus knew Judas was a thief but He never rebuked him.  In the end the betrayal of Jesus for greed caused Judas to hang himself in shame.  He did try to undo the wrong he had done but it was far too late. 

Matthew 5 v 34 - 37:  "But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
35  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
36  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."

These are the words Jesus preached during His Sermon on the Mount.  Audit your way of speaking to conform to His commands.  He knows how the enemy uses every slip of the tongue to accuse us before God's Throne, hoping to be given the right to cause us problems.  It's a very real war of mind games, smoke and mirrors, so lets avoid it at all costs.

There are always negative consequences when evil abounds so pray for the Lord to put a guard upon our mouths that our speech will always be acceptable to Him.  We have to tame our unruly tongues, and be watchful over our anger.  Our Father loves us and wants the very best for us.  Let us respect and honour Him in every way possible.

Prayer: Heavenly Father it hurts You when our fleshly nature surfaces in the way we speak and behave. Forgive us Father for our sins and errors. Let our words be pure and holy to honour You.  We choose to be different and make a difference for those bound by curses to be set free. In Jesus' name. Amen.