Monday, May 5, 2014

Taming The Tongue

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It seems that one of the biggest problems that we, as women, face (myself included) is controlling our tongues. Do we not realize that God sees and hears all, and that we will be held accountable for every idle word spoken?
In Matthew 12:36 and 37 Jesus tell us, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men (and women) shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by they words thou shalt be condemned."
In the book of James we find that true faith is evidenced by our words. James 3:3 and 4 liken our tongues to the bit in a horses's mouth, or the little rudder that controls a whole ship. Verses 5 through 12 go on to say, "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 amongst 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. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitued of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren (my sisters), bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh."
The footnote I have on James 3:6 says, "James emphasizes our inclination to sin in our speaking. Sinful speaking includes harsh and unkind words, lying, exaggeration, teaching false doctrine, slander, gossiping and boasting. Mature believers keep their tongues under control by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, taking "into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Because of the tendency to sin with the tongue, James exhorts every person to "be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (1:19)."
What kind of things do we harbor deep down in our hearts? What kind of dark things lurk there? In Matthew 12:34 Jesus reminds us that "...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
Do you ever think about that? I do. I have always had trouble controlling my mouth, especially in times of turmoil, upset, and stress, and, on many occasions...even just recently...I have said terrible things that I have had to go back and apologize, and ask forgiveness, for. I realize full well that I cannot move forward in my walk with the Lord if this is the route that I continue to choose to take over and over again. And when we choose to just say what. ever. without keeping our tongues in check, it makes us look spiritually ridiculous, and, because we are His witnesses on earth, it puts a black mark on Jesus, too.
I invite you to take a moment today to talk to the Lord about your own tongue and what it's been saying lately. Let us pray for one another and recommit our lives, and our tongues, to the Lord's service. 

A good rule of thumb to follow is the words of Philippines 4:8...
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
I challenge you to judge the conversations that you have with others by Biblical criteria. When your phone rings, or when you're visiting with someone in your home, or theirs, or elsewhere, ask yourself these questions, "Is it true? Is it honest? Is it just? Is it pure? Is it lovely? Is it of good report?" If it's not, then don't be afraid to speak up and say, "I don't want to hear this." 
And, keep in mind, like I said earlier, no matter what you, or I, or any of us say, or do, God sees and hears all. Someday we WILL give an account for the words we speak, and the actions we take, today.
Why do you think God called us, as women, to be keepers of the home? I Timothy 5 gives us the answer. Sins of the mouth were (and still are) so serious that the church was to refuse widows under the age of 60 (see verse 9). In verses 11-15, Paul tells Timothy, "But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan."
Wow!  Idle? Wandering about from house to house? (This doesn't necessarily have to be physically either...modern communication...the telephone, chat boxes, texting...all these things have made wandering from house to house, oh! so easy!) Tattlers? Busybodies? Speaking things they ought not? Is THIS the kind of women we want to be? Is this the kind of women we are CHOOSING to be? Is this the kind of witnesses that we're making for the One Who shed His blood for us? And, even if it has been in the past, or is at present, does it mean that it has to continue? Of course not! There is no time like the present to repent of sins of the tongue and turn that ship around!  

Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca <3


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