James 1:26- If you claim to be religious, but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
Babies come into this world totally innocent. Parents get excited when the first milestones are reached, and a big deal is made when a baby says their first word. Then before you know it we are saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” to them. Where did these innocent babies and kids hear the “not nice” words they are using? It could be the tv, but most likely it’s from us. Words are powerful. They can build people up or tear them down, and we can turn people on to God with our words, or completely turn them off.
Have you ever seen the look on someone’s face when your words hurt their feelings? Even in the closest relationships where we encourage and pour positivity into people, one statement that is hurtful can tear down the good things that have been built up. We lose our patience with ones we love due to their behavior and our expectations, then words are said that can’t be taken back. We might find ourselves saying, “Did I just say that out loud? Yikes!”. It’s important to make sure that we take the time to be humble and apologize when we see that we’ve hurt someone that we love.
Gossip is worthless. Gossiping means sharing information with the intent to harm or embarrass someone. The line between sharing information out of concern, and sharing it out of gossip is a fine one, and sometimes it is easily crossed. God gave us all free will and the ability to judge what we should or shouldn’t be a part of. This measure of judgment can be nothing but the Word of God. The tricky part is listening to the Spirit when He is trying to tell us “Ssshhh!!”. Self-control is a fruit of the spirit. Our amount of self-control is a way we can measure our growth in Christ. By exercising self-control, we proclaim who we belong to.
Beth Moore said, “The key to self-control is the refusal to allow our enemies (the flesh, the world, or Satan) to rule or hold us captive in any way. Christ has given us victory over our flesh, our world, and our accuser. They cannot presume authority over us.” Whatever is in your heart flows from your mouth. Just like a lion pursues its prey, we must pursue godly speech. It doesn’t just happen. How can you live this victory?
· Feed your spirit with the word of God
o Read your Bible. When Satan tempted Christ in the desert, Christ resisted by using the Scriptures.
o Participate in a Bible study
o Discuss your thoughts with people who share your faith.
· Pray as we move about in your day
o Prayer isn’t a formal ritual, it is a conversation between you and God. He is ALWAYS listening, and available.
o If you’d like to grow in this area, go to the page on the blog titled A Praying Life book study, click on the eventbrite link and join us as we learn and grow together.
· Keep your thoughts captive
o Think before you speak.
o Ask God to help you capture any words that may be harmful and keep them in. This takes practice and self-control.
Guess what? We are still going to fail. We are human. The beautiful thing is that Christ experienced every temptation that we have, and He is able to sympathize with us. God loves me! God loves you! He knows we won’t be perfect, He knows what I said that was hurtful and worthless..and He still loves me. Focus on His words of love and His perfect and unending grace for messed up people like me (and you too). He can lift the weight of our words from our shoulders and let us start over through His forgiveness and grace.
Passages to Ponder:
Romans 7:18-19 “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing.
Psalm 19:14- May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Luke 6:45- A good person produces good things from the treasure of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
Contributors: Karen Bromby, Jodi Dunbar, Jamie Leary, Kim McClure, Marla McDonald and Kristy Tolley