A young lady named Sally and her mother had a violent shouting match about the dent she put in her mother’s car. After the confrontation, the father tried to console her. “What did your mother say about the dent in the car?” he asked. “Dad, do you want me to leave out the swear words?” “Please,” he replied. Sally said, “Then she didn’t say anything.”
That mother failed to realize that words also can leave “dents” in people–but more than that they can poison the soil of a relationship. Dents can be hammered out of a car–they are much more difficult in human beings.
Let’s play a game of “I SPY”….I SPY a two-ounce slab of mucous membrane enclosing a complex array of muscles and nerves that enable our bodies to chew, taste, and swallow. And Equally significant, it is the major organ of communication that enables us to articulate distinct sounds so we can understand each other.
What am I ? (A TONGUE)
Have you ever told someone to “hold their tongue?” Try it! Really…hold your tongue and say… “JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO”.
Or , have you ever had someone tell you to “bite your tongue?”Gently bite your tongue and say…“JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO”.
We know that your tongue helps you speak, taste your food, and even show your “not so Christ-Like” side. James says that relatively small items (Like a bit in a horse’s mouth, a rudder on a large ship, a spark in a dry forest…and your tongue) can have a big impact POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE.
James 3:3-6…When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Have you ever said something and immediately wished you could take it back? Join the club!
But you can’t….It’s like the water crashing over Niagara Falls.
Have you ever spoken with rage and anger…and then saw the damage it did?
Or on the flip side…Ever spoken a kind word and saw the look on the face of the person you lifted up with your words?
Or maybe you shared the Gospel with someone who was overwhelmed with guilt?
It’s odd to realize that all of our words pass over that same tongue…the good and the bad….the sweet and the sour…words that build up and words that tear down!
Do you remember as a child going to the doctor with a sore throat or with allergies.
The first thing the doctor would say: “Let me see your tongue.” Then the doctor would take a tongue depressor, which always tasted terrible, and nearly choke you to death…peering into your mouth.
The doctor would always say, “It was important to examine the tongue.” The tongue is a great help to determine our physical health.
A BAROMETER OF WHAT’S GOING ON INSIDE YOUR BODY!
Does it seem like a contradiction to you? I mean curses and blessings come out of the same mouth!
James 3:9-10… With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.
It’s funny that we can’t wait for a baby to say their first words…we smile if its “mommy” or “daddy” and then we can’t get them to stop talking! I read that the average man speaks 7,000 words per day! The average woman 20,000 words per day!! (I’M SURE THERE IS A MESSAGE THERE…BUT I’M NOT TOUCHING IT) But, that’s 7.3 million words spoken per year!!! If you live to be 70…..511 million words!!! So…the question to ponder is…What percentage of your words were used to glorify the Lord?
So…Simply put: we all talk a lot…..Now you can see why God is concerned about it–and desires us to GLORIFY HIM WITH EACH OF OUR WORDS.
And yet if we are honest, we see that many times we use our tongue to do harm:…To verbally abuse a spouse, child, co-worker, or that person who sees life differently than we do, a fellow student. We use our words to put down a person because of their race…or social status…or political view.
But we also use that same tongue to build up:
- To tell a spouse–I love you.
- To tell a child–I am proud of you.
- To ask a coworker–Can I help you?
- To hold a fellow Christian’s hand—and ask….Can we pray together?
- To knock on a neighbor’s door and say Welcome to our neighborhood.
James 3:7-10(msg)… This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?
Why is this so? Well, the truth is that our words come from our heart! The tongue is a tattletale that tells on the heart and disclose the real person.
Ever look at a bumper sticker and wonder who is driving the car? “YOUR KID MAY BE AN HONOR STUDENT, BUT YOU ARE STILL AN IDIOT”. They got one chance to share a thought with the world…and that’s it? Or who is driving these cars? “LEARN FROM YOUR PARENTS MISTAKES…USE BIRTH CONTROL”, “I LOVE CATS…THEY TASTE LIKE CHICKEN”, “FORGET THE JONESES…I KEEP UP WITH THE SIMPSONS”, “HARD WORK PAYS OFF IN THE FUTURE…BUT LAZINESS PAYS OFF RIGHT NOW”, “BE KIND TO YOUR KIDS…THEY’LL CHOOSE YOUR NURSING HOME”.
Don’t get me wrong…some are funny…but it is a reflection of the person who owns the car. The words on the outside of the car are often a reflection of who is on the inside! Well…..The words that come out of your mouth…are an indicator of who you are on the inside! The same is true for us. What you fill yourself with will eventually come spewing out! We are called to choose and use our words wisely!!!!
SO THE QUESTION FOR YOU TO PONDER IS:
- What’s the condition of you heart?
- What “rolls off your tongue” that would not please God? (gossip, cursing, arguing, lying)
- What can you do to fix this problem?
- It starts by cleaning your heart!
- How do you clean your heart? It is simple!
- Fill it with good and noble things…. Godly things.
Philippians 4:8…Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Make yourself more Christ-like on the inside will make your words pure and sweet…uplifting and wholesome…. a blessing to those who hear them.
- Who needs you to speak words that lift up and encourage?
- Who have you torn down and you need to make amends with?
- Who is watching you…and learning from what you say…and how you say it?
- Who needs to hear the Gospel? Who needs to be told that Jesus Loves them…died for them…and wants to transform them?
A few final thoughts:
- KEEP YOUR WORDS SOFT AND SWEET…YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU WILL HAVE TO EAT THEM!
- PROFANITY IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT OF YOUR STUPIDITY!
- A LIE IS A COWARDS WAY OF GETTING OUT OF TROUBLE!
- THE TRUTH IS AS CLEAR AS A BELL…BUT IT ISN’T ALWAYS TOLLED!