Friday, 9 August 2013

Taming the Tongue

James 3:7-8
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
 We can tame animals, but we can't tame the tongue.

There are plenty of animals out there that we've been able to tame. Just go to a zoo and watch some of the amazing shows that they put on - seals doing tricks, massive eagles flying from place to place when directed. Maybe you don't even have to go that far - we tame our pets. My dogs can both give hi-fives (which I personally think is pretty awesome), and they definitely know to come when there's food involved.

We can tame these beasts that God created, yet we cannot tame our tongues. We lie, we gossip, we boast, we hurt and we retaliate when we are hurt. We say crude jokes, we talk instead of listening. In fact, we so often seem to use our tongues for everything except sharing the gospel.

It's just a fact of life: We speak before we think, and we speak what comes from our minds. We are sinful through and through and that is evident in our speech. No human can tame the tongue.

Jesus isn't just a human.

Jesus is God and he is a man. He came to the earth as 100% God and 100% man, and he lived perfectly. He had his tongue perfectly under control, using it to rebuke people for sinning and to encourage those who needed it. He used it to share God's word and to pray. He was perfect in every regard, and that perfection was displayed in his words.

What does that mean for us?

Well, if we turn to Jesus as saviour and LORD, he sends his Holy Spirit into us. He changes us. When we become Christians we die to sin and are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17), and as a result our use of our tongues changes. It's a gradual change, but Jesus/the Holy Spirit works in us and he transforms us so that we can honour and glorify God with our whole lives.

My simple question for you is, What do your words reveal about your character? Do they reveal a slave to sin, or a sinner saved by grace? Do they display someone who is Dead to sin and alive in Jesus? Or someone who is spiritually dead?

Only Jesus can change how we speak.

God Bless,
Nat.

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