Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 17, 2015
Guest Writer: Meet my son-in-law Tripp Prince. We are blessed to have him as our guest writer.
For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. James 3:7-10
Have you ever said something and then immediately wished you could take it back? If you’re like me, you’ve done this more times than you can count! So often we speak without thinking. We hear words come out of our mouths and think, “Where did that come from?” At times this can lead to simple embarrassment or a laugh between friends, yet often our words are the source of deep pain and brokenness. Perhaps even now as you read this you feel in your heart the wounds of someone’s words toward you or the burden of having wounded another with your words.
As James reminds us, each of us is capable of great good and devastating harm. We can speak words of blessing, encouragement, and hope over those we love and those who need to be uplifted. Yet we can then turn around and with the same tongue lash out in anger, put someone down so we look better than we are, or simply lie and deceive to get what we want.
This capacity for good and evil should remind us that our lives are always works in progress. No matter how long we’ve followed Christ or served him, we never fully arrive at maturity; there are still parts of our hearts that need to be given over to his will for our lives. When we speak a blessing over others, it is a sign of God’s renovating work in our hearts. On the other hand, when we speak harmful words, they reveal motives in our hearts that are not yet conformed to the will of God.
The tongue makes public that which the heart keeps private.
If you find yourself struggling to tame your tongue, don’t simply focus on behavior modification. The Lord doesn’t want us to merely change our actions, but desires that our changed behavior come from a heart that has been set on fire with love for Him! Therefore, let the Lord into the deep, dark places of your heart and allow Him to bring about real and lasting change. As we do, the Lord will renew our hearts and place words of joy and hope upon our lips. Then we will be able to join with the words of Scripture and proclaim, “my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced” (Acts 2:26).
Prayer: Father, help us learn to tame our tongues by fully opening our hearts and lives to your transforming grace.
Application: How does God want to tame my tongue? Who needs my words of affirmation?
Related Readings: 2 Samuel 23:2; Job 27:4; Psalm 34:13; Proverbs 15:2
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