Dr. Conway Edwards, Lead Pastor
James chapter 3 focuses on the tongue; he reminds us how important and impactful our words are. They can lift you up or tear down and destroy. Our words also divulge our maturity. They can indicate whether someone is a follower of Christ, an infant in Christ, or a mature Christian, just listen to what comes from their mouth. The only way to control our tongue is to let Jesus Christ control our heart. Paul reminds us that, “[we] can do all things through Him who gives [us] strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
The average person speaks about 16,000 words in a day. These words matter to God; he keeps a record of our words. Jesus said, “I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” (Matthew 12:36) We must be careful how we open our mouths. Take every opportunity, when asked about another, to lift them up and share the best about them. The best of the person is who they are striving to be. When God asks Jesus about us, Jesus tells his Father about the best of us. If Jesus will do that for us, why not do this for someone else?
In taming our tongue we strive to be like the coach rather than the critic. As a coach we consider carefully the:
- Tone that will optimize the recipient’s openness to the message
- Timing that will best support the recipient’s growth
- Temperament that optimizes our positive influence of the recipient’s actions & behaviors
Taming the tongue, requires us to:
- Fill it up: Deposit the word of God; create things that are good and beneficial for others.
- Zip it up: Bridle our tongue because this can destroy.
- Lift them up: Display who we really are, children of a beloved God, by allowing our tongue to only share the best of others.
How are you checking for “weapons of mass destruction” this week (i.e. gossiping, profanity, being silent about the truth)? Are you “taming your tongue” or falling prey to it?