Control Your Tongue
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. (James 1:26 NIV)
Words can be so cruel. When I was growing up, I remember well meaning people who constantly reminded me how skinny I was. They didn't think that I would ever be offended. They weren't calling me fat, they were calling me skinny. I can tell you now that it did hurt. As a teenager, I didn't want to be skinny. I didn't want to be overweight either, but to be skinny meant to me that I was "too little" for most people. People assumed I was weak. Some thought that I was sickly.
I'm not nearly as skinny now. Looking back on the situation, if I had known what I know now, I wouldn't have been that upset. At the time, however, the words were devastating! They came from my peers, and there was no group, at the time, from whom I needed affirmation more.
Has anyone ever said anything that really hurt your feelings? They may not have even intended to, although sometimes they may have, but, even if the statement is untrue, it hurts something deep inside of you. Have you ever felt that way?
As you and I mature in our Christian life, our attitude should begin to shape all our life and actions. Who we are should season our speech. Our character should reflect the love of Christ in our hearts. You and I already know that, but carrying it out in daily living is quite another task.
May I ask you, how's your tongue? Other than being sewn into your mouth and used for tasting, can God depend on your tongue to do His work? Can He count on the fact that your tongue will not wound His people or scare off His prospects for salvation? Are you living a life that gives God glory through every word that comes from your mouth?
I know that is a tough challenge, but if we want to reflect Christ in a lost world, we will need to get control of our tongues!