Taming the Tongue
In James 3:1-12 we learn that the tongue, though it is so small, is able to cause great destruction. One lesson we should learn from this passage is summed up in the following sentence: ‘Don’t think you can corrupt the heart and control the mouth.’ In other words, the things that come out of your mouth, come out because they are in your heart. In Matthew 12:34, Jesus said, “…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” So when those cuss words slip out, when those sarcastic comments fly, when those harsh words are let loose in anger… it’s because these things are in our hearts. According to James, we can’t control the tongue and at some point, what’s inside will come out. So don’t apologize and say that’s not you, because it is you.
Since we can’t control the tongue, it seems we should focus on maintaining our hearts because what goes into our hearts is what comes out of it. For example, when we look at many of today’s children’s television shows we see kids that are disrespectful, they put each other down, they talk about being in love, and they are portrayed as being cooler and smarter than their parents. Is it no wonder that we have kids that are just like that today… input/output. How about adults? When we see movies that glorify vengeance, sarcasm, cursing, and sex, can we expect to be able to take these things in and not allow them to affect us? To change what’s in the heart, we need to change what we allow into the heart.
It was Jesus who told the Pharisees Matthew 23:26 “…cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” When you drink things like coffee, soda, even certain juices, you will notice that there is a tendency to stain the cup. In fact, the longer you leave the drink in the cup, the more likely you are to stain the cup. This is a good picture of what happens to our hearts as we drink in from the world. However, if you drink pure water from a cup, it doesn’t stain or leave a residue. In fact, water is what we use to wash the stains left by the other drinks. This is a good picture of what it’s like to drink in the Word of God.
So the solution to taming the tongue is to clean the heart. If you want to be kinder, then stop drinking in movies or games filled with violence, tempers, sarcasm, and lying. Instead, drink in the Word of God. If you want to purify your heart, stop watching things that glamorize love scenes, bare a lot of flesh, or normalize adultery. Instead, consider the love of God and the relationship He desires with you. This will help get rid of the stains and restore good judgment which enables us to see clearly to follow the Lord. Romans 12:2 puts it this way “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Instead of trying to tame the tongue, work on cleaning the heart. If you don’t know where to begin, open the Word of God, ask the Lord and He will guide you.
Devotional Provided By:
Pastor Troy Neeley
Calvary Chapel Solid Rock
San Antonio, TX 78232