(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: Taming the Tongue)
HOW ARE WE EMPOWERED TO SPEAK?
When God created man, He created him in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). Consequently, as humans we are empowered to speak with authority. In fact, when we look at the first man Adam, his first recorded assignment in the Bible was to name each animal God had created. That was a big, important assignment when you think about it! God entrusted Adam to give each animal its own unique name.
Like Adam, as children of God, we are entrusted to use our words to make a positive impact. Consider the apostle Paul. In Philippians 3:1, he explains that he never gets tired of telling the people about Jesus and encouraging them to remain faithful. Just like Paul, we are to use our voices to tell others about Jesus. We are also to use our words to pray and encourage someone.
Unfortunately, some believers in Christ or Christians choose to use their words in a negative way. I’ve attended church all my life, so I’ve witnessed church members say some really cruel things about others, including other believers.
I’ve even been guilty of it myself. If we were to be honest, we’ve used our words to judge, criticize, ridicule, belittle, backbite, and gossip. Basically, we’ve used our words to tear down and hate on other people.
WHY DO SOME OF US SPEAK WITH HATE?
Why do some of us speak with hate when we are supposed to show the love of God? It’s a learned behavior. We model what we see and hear, especially as children because, more than likely, we don’t know any better. Then after we grow up, mature and gain more knowledge and understanding, we still use our words negatively because it feels good to the flesh (the sinful nature). Thus, we speak what’s in our hearts. Luke 6:45 (New International Version) says:
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Some are simply comfortable criticizing and judging other people. For instance, if I can harp on someone else’s faults (or what I THINK are someone else’s faults) then I can ignore my own faults and pretend I don’t have any. If I magnify someone else’s so-called issues, then I can convince myself that my issues aren’t as bad as theirs. Moreover, some of us have a tendency to make excuses for our behavior. Here’s an example:
“Oh no! This isn’t gossiping! We need to discuss this so we know what to pray about.”
“Hey Sis! How’re you doing? Have you heard the news about Sis. Watermelon? Well, I’m not trying to talk about her or anything like that! I’m just calling to let you know what I heard so….you know….so you can pray.”
And then another one:
“Look, I’m just keeping it real! I’m not biting my tongue because the devil needs to be exposed!!!”
Do any of the above examples sound remotely familiar? The problem with these statements is the motive behind them. There’s no LOVE! Now, I’m not suggesting that if an individual is guilty of using his or her words in a negative way, that he or she doesn’t possess love for other people. I’m not suggesting that at all! What I am suggesting is that every believer must learn how to tame his or her tongue. As humans, it’s easy to lean towards what’s negative or evil. Why? Although we’ve given our lives to Jesus, we are still in this flesh and there’s nothing holy or righteous about the flesh. Therefore, we need to adhere to Galatians 5:16-17 (NIV), which say:
“16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit [desires] what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
In order to not yield to the flesh, we must be guided by the Holy Spirit. In order to be guided by the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God, we must spend time with God praying to Him, praising and worshiping Him, and studying and obeying His Word.
HOW CAN YOU TAME YOUR TONGUE?
If you find yourself talking negatively about someone, do a self-evaluation and check your heart. You may even ask yourself, “Why am I saying these things? What’s really going with me?” And be honest with yourself! Then change your thinking. Change your words. Turn that negative statement into a positive one. In some instances, it may be better to not say anything at all and just pray about that person or situation.
Although the tongue is capable of causing great harm, as children of God, we are responsible for taming it. We must be mindful of the words we speak on a daily basis. God expects us to be witnesses for Jesus Christ, not just when we share the Gospel, but by being examples of love and righteousness. Remember, people watch what we do and they listen to what we say. God is holding you and me accountable!
THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.
Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Please pray the following prayer:
Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!
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