Post 19…August 2023   Taming our tongue

Oh, what an important lesson for all of us.  May each of us find something in this lesson that was meant just for us, and that we would change to be more like God on this subject. 

I will begin by mentioning Pastors and leaders within the church.  No one has a more serious responsibility than those who teach God’s word.  Because of their great influence, they need to learn how to tame their tongue.  We know they deal with many kinds of people, and some are not easy to deal with…but they need to think before they talk especially when it comes to difficult people.

Sinful speech includes harsh and unkind words, lying, exaggerations, false teaching, slander, gossiping, hateful comments, dirty jokes, and even selfish boasting. 

We, as Christians, are to keep our tongue under control.  How?  By asking God to help us.  It is very easy to lash out at difficult people, but does that do any good?

Oh, if we could only bridle our mouths fully.  What an accomplishment that would surely be.  For even a few small lashing out words can destroy someone and we should not be doing that.  Our tongue is like a fire…a speck sets it off and it rages into a forest fire.

No human can truly tame their tongue.  It is a restless evil…the bible says and full of deadly poison.  With our tongue we bless some and curse others…this should not be.  As believers, we must not only be careful about what we say, but also to whom we say things.  Since people have been created in God’s likeness (Gen 1:26-27) to curse another person is like cursing God. (Gen 9:6)

Taming the tongue is an important subject in scripture. With our tongues, we can speak to build others up or we can speak to tear them down.  We can speak truth, or we can speak lies.

Many times, we speak the wrong thing without even realizing it or meaning it.  We hurt people because we open our mouths and say things without thinking if what we are going to say is good or bad, or how our words will hurt them…or will our words help them.  We are all guilty of this at some time.  However, we need to learn how to control what we are going to say and this is not always an easy task.

The childhood motto “Sticks and stones may break my bones…” but words will never hurt me….is a lie!  Words can be powerful weapons that can motivate or destroy someone.

I know words someone spoke to me…or about me in my life devastated my soul.  They deeply crushed me and I still feel the hurt from them…even though I forgave them.  Some of the words I am sure they never meant to hurt me with…but the words hurt.  We all expect our enemies or the world to say things, but we don’t want our loved ones to be the ones who do.  But then we must also think about how many times our words made someone else feel this way…even family.  We just don’t stop before talking and think about what is going to come out of our mouths and whether it will build someone up or tear them down.  Will it be things/words we can never take back? 

The Bible is filled with warnings about the power of our tongue. It can be both a blessing and a curse because it holds great potential, but we must use wisdom in handling this small part of our body very wisely.

If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.  Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. JAMES 3:3-8 (ESV)

I can’t speak for anyone but myself.  I know, many times in my life…and I am old now…that my words hurt someone else.  I have come to a place in my life where I know I should not have said certain things and I wish I could go back and just not say them…but we can’t.  We can, however, learn from what we did or didn’t do in life and go on making better decisions for our life.  We have all messed up if we are truthful with ourself.  Words hurt me, and I’d venture to say my words hurt others as well.  Lord, forgive me and forgive whoever said things to me that hurt me.  I don’t want any revenge against anyone…I want them saved and walking with God.  We are human for sure…but we can learn every day of our life to do things differently and better. 

When we speak without thinking, it can feel as if our mouths aren’t really under control. We just, at times, blurt out stupid stuff and wish whatever it was…would have a rewind button.  Sometimes our words come out before we decide whether they should be said-and when this happens there’s no way to take them back! Oh, if there just were. However, we can learn a lot about our tongue and how to have fewer and fewer incidents of saying these things.

Words have a serious impact on other people. They can follow them their whole lives, penetrate deep into the heart, and corrupt senses of self-worth with just one word.  They did and have for me, and I’m just one person.  Most likely someone has hurt you as well through the very words they spoke to you or about you in your life.

Everyone is created in God’s image — Isn’t that amazing?  We take a wonderful thing knowing God loves us and made us in His image and we have great worth with God…in fact, we have unimaginable worth and so much that Jesus went to the cross and died the death that we deserve.  The words we speak are important.  Our tongue so little and yet can be so vile and mean.   When we fail to practice taming the tongue we can hurt people we love dearly and that hurt can live a lifetime and break relationships for good while on this earth.

Our tongue is not inherently bad, but what we do with that small area of our body can build up people or destroy them.  We must learn how to control that tongue.  We need to learn how to steer our tongue and use everything available to us by the word of God .

I was thinking about this today…we live in an age of great things like social media.  Things like Facebook, Twitter and so on…and we use our phones to reach people more today through texting over talking to people we love especially.  We find we can say a lot of things we would not say to someone’s face by these means.  Do we realize how many people we hurt by the very words we say about these things?  I’m not saying ever to lie about these things. We are always, always, always…to tell the truth of God’s words even if it offends someone. 

We are to tell the truth of God’s word and stand on God’s word no matter what is going on in this world.  People will hate us for it and many will lash out at us…but we must still speak the truth of God’s word.  We all can and must learn to use these means in this day and age responsibly.

We, as Christians, want to say and do the right things…but we don’t always do it.  When it comes to social media and the like…our very words can spread beyond our control and leave us powerless to stop the consequences or undo the damage.  What we say can be 100% true but the world doesn’t care about truth.  They just want what they want and they want us to go along with all the lies they have been fed and believe.  The truth, we know, sets us free, but they believe so many lies now that they really don’t want the truth of God’s word because it is easier to believe the lies and live in sin than to accept Jesus and be transformed and have heaven waiting for them.

How many people have had a good reputation ruined by a word/lie about you?  Rumors are lies and they hurt a lot of people.  Most are said by mean people trying to hurt someone, but some are words that someone heard and just lashed out telling someone without knowing the truth.  And why, even if something were true or not, did someone feel the need to hurt someone else? How many young people (and older people as well) who had something said untrue about them couldn’t take it and went out and killed themselves over what was said?

We can’t make people like or love us.  We just can’t.  When someone doesn’t like us many will talk about us to get others to feel the same way about us.  So a  completely unfounded rumor might just ruin a person’s reputation even if it is proven false later on.  By then though…that person has had their reputation destroyed and for what? Once evil hit us by the words spoken…by the tongue of evil…it is extremely difficult to get back ones reputation. GOSSIP HURTS!

One thing people don’t think about is that when we speak evil, we defile ourselves. Oh, someone else might not understand what you did…but know this: God knows!  Our words have tremendous power and each of us needs to learn how to control what we say, when we say things, and if what is about to come out of our mouth in person, on the phone, in a letter, on social media, etc…we must think before we do these things and say the things we say.

Think about this month in your life.  Have you said anything at all that would have or could have hurt someone else even without meaning it as such?  We need to keep our thoughts in line with the word of God and we need to ask God to help us tame that evil little thing in our mouth

Your tongue is so small in comparison to the rest of your body.  It helps you to establish words to say, but no matter how hard you try to control the tongue you will never have complete control of the words that it creates or utters. We just say things, at times we should not say…and we need God…through the Holy Spirit to help us tame that little thing in our mouth.

We can’t overcome sin in our own power.  We need God to help us.  This does not make us weak…it makes us strong in Him.  God is the only one who can keep our tongues in check. We need to continually submit ourselves to God and hand him the reins. Taming the tongue comes only from Him. Without God helping us each day we get up and open our mouths, our computer, our phone…we are more capable of hurting others by our words. 

We are called to be observant and unmovable against the schemes of darkness.  However,  if we let sin seep through into our words and out our mouth what we are doing then is spreading hate speech of some kind.  We are telling things we should not say.  What you feel you must say about someone else…is it kind?  Is it godly?  What damage could it do?  You might think it would only damage the person you are going to talk about…but God is watching and those words of meanness…God hears and you will answer for one day.   Better we don’t say them than have the consequences of saying them.

Sin is like a cancer of our soul that needs constant examining.   When we leave things unchecked for too long it can cause irreparable damage! We need constant prayer so that God’s grace may keep overflowing into us as He saves each one who trusts in Him completely from everlasting destruction. I don’t know about you but I had a major wake up call about my words and I don’t want to hurt anyone.  I know the truth I can tell anyone and should, but I sure don’t want to lash out and open my mouth for meanness.

The wilderness of our life doesn’t mean that we won’t get to the promised land.  God’s even with us in the wilderness of our life.  However, God wants to work on our life and take bad things out and put more and more good things in us.  God has a plan for each of us.  He can use the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between to get us to the place of the promised land one day.  Our life can accept the poisons out there or we can accept the truth and use it wisely.  God is our fountain of life, but the devil is out there trying to poison the water so we fall. 

Our words really are powerful and I have already said that….they can bring great joy, or they could leave deep wounds where scars cannot be seen, but one small word has the ability to impact another’s life greatly. I don’t want to hurt someone else.  I want my words to get people to want to know Jesus, and I want my words to encourage people in doing so, but in our everyday life with family, friends, co-workers…I want my words to matter in a good way.  

The power of our words is enormous and can have an influence on others in ways we never imagine. One word from us may seem like nothing at all, but that same little word spoken to someone, especially our children,  could be what sinks their ship or makes them soar higher than ever before! T

Think of the child who is told they could never amount to anything, or think of the child who was told they can become anything they want and work to become.  What about the child you show partiality over another to?  You can’t take it back.  Sometimes it is not that you have a partiality over them with another…some kids are easier to get along with, listen to, and maybe you even have more in common with…but to the child who feels they are not as important as the other child…it becomes devastation to them.  What about the child that feels you always compare them with the other child and say things like, “Why can’t you be like so and so.”  Most times they don’t mean it like they said it, but to the child they are hurt and sometimes take that through life with them that they are not good enough when they are wonderful.

We are not always in control of what our mouths say. The tongue wants to wander off on its own, but the brain needs guidance from God so that it can stay loyal and behave properly as part of this rebel body. I know that I sure have in my long life said things I should not have said and as I have said many times…we can’t take them back.  Oh, someone might say they forgive us…but Id bet those words, at times, still swarm around in their head and come out maybe against those they love as well one day and they didn’t mean to hurt their loved ones either.

If we want to have a favourable life and see good days ahead of us, then we need to keep our mouths from doing anything bad. And importantly—don’t lie because God abhors a lying tongue! WE must tell others the truth  in love, but there are many times we just need to shut up!!!!!!!!!!!

What about all those who pretend to be religious but whose words reveal them as being untrustworthy: If someone really thinks they’re Christian yet lies and deceives, and thinks that their sins are okay and somehow God is now okay with those sins…is very deceived.  Oh, we can tell them the truth and should…but it doesn’t mean they are going to listen nor does it mean they will ever change either.

There are some withing certain churches where the pastors and leaders are telling them that the sins they are living in are okay and God is okay with them.  It is a lie from hell and as much as you tell them the truth they are going to choose (usually) the lies because the one lying to them is telling them that they can go on living in sin.  Those churches tell them that they will accept them and their life style and no change or transformation ever needs to happen.  The thing is………….it is a lie.  If you are truly a Christian then you need to change if you are or have been living in what God calls sin.  There is one person (many, but one I have tried to tell the truth to)  He is so deceived and believes the lies he has been fed, but he also loves living in the sin for which he feels we are wrong, his church tells him he is right, and he doesn’t want to give up living in sin.  My heart breaks for this young man, but I can’t make him change.  I pray for him, I have told him the truth, but there comes a point where the choice is really his if he will change or not.  All churches should always allow people in and not turn them away, but once there and they hear the truth they need to change and be transformed into what God says is right.  We all have worth with God.  So much worth that Jesus died for us to give us life eternal.  How I wish and pray that those wanting to live in sin would truly meet Jesus and actually listen to Him. 

Listen please:  Jesus illustrates this point by saying But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” (Matthew 15:18) because it is For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. (Matthew 15:19).

Remember this…all sin is bad.  All sins need to be dealt with.  They are wrong and all of them have consequences if not confessed and repented of.  Repented means you change direction and stop doing them. You can’t con God.  He sees what you do and He knows your heart.  Your actions have to be truthful with God.

Gossip, secrets, and anger are all potentially explosive. One tiny bit of information  (true or false) can set a whole forest on fire – nothing packs more power than the human tongue! Taming the tongue is a significant key in our Christian walk.  The tongue is like a loose cannon on the wave-tossed ship. It can help you but also quickly turn against you.

The tongue and the words used can be profanity-laced or grace-filled. The choice is purely up to us.  It is a matter of personal choice and should be Spirit-led. While we know the tongue can cause hurt and chaos if not used with kindness and the strength of God, it can also be used in many positive and powerful ways. We see that our words have the potential to be a fountain of life, nourish many and bring healing, or they can be words of destruction in the life of the one receing words that bring them down in their mind.

Technology has changed the way we communicate and even if at times it seems like a good thing, there are times it is very destructive. Our voices on things like social media platforms reach a lot of people and get shared over and over again.  What we say and do in our life does and can impact the lives of many others. 

The best thing we can do each day before opening our mouth is to give our mouth to God for the day.  Do this daily!!! 

How many of you go around each day complaining about others?  Should you?  Do you like to hear others go about complaining about everyone and everything?  What we hear in their complaints is that we should dislike what they dislike and be upset by whom and what they are upset.  But…do we know the absolute truth of the situation? 

I want God to take my mouth and fill it with words that He is happy I would say.  I want to think before I talk and hold back if what I would have said would not have been something God would have been pleased with me saying.

Old saying: Let us “Chew your words twice” and another “God gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason…we need to think before we open our mouths and blurt out the garbage.

Take responsibility for the words that come out of your mouth. Really…I mean that.  We all have said things and many times over in our life we want to blame others for what we said, felt, and the actions we took.  No, if we spoke it then we need to be responsible for those words.

We all make mistakes and occasionally say the wrong thing. Let us ask God each day to help us and shine a light on any words that were unloving.   Commit to doing better and speaking in ways that model Christ.

How blessed we are to have the ability to communicate with others!  How you communicate can have an incredibly positive or negative effect on others.

Lastly here….we need to begin to be mindful of the words that we speak.  We are representatives of the Lord Jesus if we are Christians.  We need to act appropriately.  If I ever hurt you in any way I am solely sorry for my words that did.  I would take them back if I could.  If you hurt me in any way you are absolutely forgiven and I wish blessings on your life.  If only we learned early in our life about the words we speak and how they can help or destroy people we could change a lot sooner.  Also, If only we met Jesus sooner in our life maybe we would not have made so many mistakes in judgment.  God has been working on me and I am so thankful.  May the words of my mouth honor God over everything that ever comes out of my mouth.  I thank God He has been merciful to me.  I thank God He did not give up on me and is still working on my life.  I no longer want my life to be about me…I want my life to represent my Lord and honor Him.  For my own life…may it begin with me. 


Let’s begin with some verses from the Bible regarding the tongue:

Colossians 4:6

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.


Ephesians 4:29

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen


Proverbs 10:19

19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.


Proverbs 15:4

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.


Proverbs 15:28

28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.


Proverbs 17:9

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.


Matthew 15:11

11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”


Proverbs 21:23

23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.



Proverbs 26:20

20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.


Proverbs 31:26

26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.


Psalms 34:13

13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.


Psalms 141:3

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.


Titus 3:1-2

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,

to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.


Proverbs 18:20-21

20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.

21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.


Proverbs 17:27-28

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.





Proverbs 12:6-7

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.

The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm.


Proverbs 12:13-14

13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk, and so the innocent escape trouble.

14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward.


Proverbs 12:18-19

18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.


Proverbs 15:1-2

1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.



Psalms 119:171-173

171 May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.

172 May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.

173 May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.



Proverbs 6:16-19

16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:

17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.



Proverbs 18:1-8

An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.

When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes reproach.

The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.

It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice.

The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.

The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.


James 1:19-26

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror

24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.


Psalms 52:2-9

You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor.

You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.

You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue!

Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living.

The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at you, saying,

“Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!”

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.


James 3:1-12

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.

Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

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.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.

10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.


Proverbs 26:17-28

17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

18 Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death

19 is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.

21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.

22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.

23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart.

24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit.

25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts.

26 Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.

28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.


God bless you!  May both of our words from this moment forward honor God and each other.