Stick Out Your Tongue


Our words, and how we say them, reflect the degree to which we are sincerely living for God and walking with Jesus Christ.

When I was a boy, doctors made house calls, and the doctor who came to our house was our family physician, Dr. Gatlin. I can still picture him in the doorway of my room, with his black case, nodding as my mother ran through my symptoms. But regardless of what she said, I could be sure that Dr. Gatlin would listen to my heart with his stethoscope, and take a flat, wooden tongue depressor and say, “Okay, Edwin, stick out your tongue.” If I had fever, he would call Johnson’s Drug Store and have them send a sulfur drug. If I were fever-free, he would recommend two teaspoons of milk of magnesia. I’m not sure what he learned about my physical condition from seeing my tongue, but I know today that the tongue can diagnose my spiritual condition in a heartbeat.

To all who desire to be mature Christians, James would say, “stick out your tongue.” That is because our words, and how we say them, reflect the degree to which we are sincerely living for God and walking with Jesus Christ.

You see, the tongue is simply a messenger-boy of the heart, or a bucket that is lowered into the well of our soul. It can only deliver the message it is given. It can only bring up the water that is already there. Jesus said it is not what enters the mouth of a man that defiles him or makes him unclean, it is what comes out of the man from the heart that defiles him. If hatred and bitterness and jealousy and slander are on your tongue, you can be certain it is because they are in your heart. And once those words are spoken, they can never be reclaimed. There is simply no diagnostician of the heart as accurate as the tongue!


But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.


2 Chronicles 36; Ezekiel 5-6

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