Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (Ephesians 4:29-31)
Notice that “corrupt communication” comes just before “grieve not the holy Spirit of God.”
Does anything cause more trouble among people than the mouth…the tongue? And, when we become Christians, an uncontrolled mouth and tongue is even more out of place. Jesus had control of His tongue at all times, even when He was standing on trial for His life before the Roman Governor, Pilate. The High Priest asked Jesus if He had nothing to say. Then, Pilate joined the priest: And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. (Mar 15:4)
I’m afraid I would have lost it. My temper is not in my closet. My temper is in my tongue! It’s a given that, “your dirt is dirtier than my dirt.” “Your words are worse than my words.” We know that alcohol and drugs break up a lot of homes, but I have longed believed that an unruly tongue has broken up more homes than alcohol. Since the beginning of the human race, mankind has struggled to live with his tongue and especially the tongues of those around him. Millions of people have met an early death because of somebody’s fiery tongue.
When I was looking for a picture for this article on Google Images, it took me a long while to find what I was looking for. At least 90% of Google’s pictures of mouths are of women. I couldn’t figure that out. I probably should not have mentioned it. It is true that men tend to hold it in and won’t talk to their wives and it drives their wives up a wall. But here is the picture of a man, clean-shaven, in the act of talking.
In my teens, I found this verse that has blessed me many times: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Proverbs 25:11) And this verse: The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary:… (Isaiah 50:4a)
Those are wonderful words, we all agree. But, how often have I said things that before they were out of my mouth I knew it was a raw egg in the floor? You remember how it feels for that one split second when you see the egg roll off the cabinet and the next stop is the floor? It is not a cooked egg that lands with a thud. It’s a raw egg that lands with a splat! Sometimes words are like that.
“I didn’t mean that!” But you said it. You just blurted it out. It’s a raw egg on the floor. Jesus’ half-brother James, was nick-named “Camel Knee James” because he prayed so much he had callouses on his knees like a camel. Type in “camel knee James” on Google and see how many responses you get. I did it just now and got back 15,400,000 responses in one second. (Fifteen million, four hundred thousand.) This James wrote: For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (James 3:2)
Do you see what this man is saying? He had noticed that there were many things that offended people in his day. But the hardest thing was the use of the tongue…mouth management. It really bothered him. He continued:
Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
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 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. 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. (James 3:3-8
The psalmist commented on the people of his day: Who have said, with our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? (Psalm 12:4)
Is there any greater need in Christian testimony than a dedicated, Christian Tongue? Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
October 6, 2017 – FRIDAY
A.M. Isaiah 34-36
P.M. Philippians 2
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Great Memory Verses:
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. (1Corinthians 3:6-9)
Song for Today:
There Is a Fountain (4:39) (Gaither Group)
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