Taming the Tongue

Today’s blog post is by Chris Linderman, Director of Youth Ministry…

When I was in high school, I was the captain of the drumline at my highschool! I took a lot of pride in this role – but, a little too much pride.

One day during our summer rehearsal, I got frustrated with a few people in our section and I tore into them with my words—words that shall not be repeated. After rehearsal that day, I took a student home. We didn’t know each other that well, but he started to talk to me about Christ. He began to tell me about his relationship with Christ. It actually felt like he was sharing the Gospel with me. I had to stop him and tell him, “Hey, I am a Christian—we are a part of the same family!” His response was unforgettable. He said “Oh, I couldn’t tell that by how you were speaking to everyone.”

At that point, I realized that how I speak to others actually matters. People are watching and listening to everything I say and do. Proverbs 18:24 says that “The tongue has power of life and death.” Our words can either build others up or can tear others down. Our words have power! We can bring a breath of life and hope to those that around us or we can bring hurt, death, and pain to others simply by our words.

James, in chapter 3, is talking about taming the tongue. It says in verse 8, “No human being can tame the tongue.” So how do we use our words to praise God one day through song and worship; and with the same mouth, use our words to hurt, gossip, and tear down those that He calls His children?

I promise, I get it; it is not easy to tame the tongue. It is not easy to not gossip. I also understand that the words that come from our lips, whether good or bad, are a reflection of what is going on in our hearts (Matt. 15:18). So here are some questions to think about:

  • What is the condition of my heart?
  • Who is influencing my life right now and how are they influencing me?
  • Who do I need to forgive?
  • How am I building others up with my words? (Eph. 4:29)

To continue this devotion, please read and meditate on Psalms 141.