"but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so." James 3: 8 - 10
God has called us to be a FAITHFUL WITNESS for Him as we go about life today! There will be lots of opportunities to share where we REALLY are as we make contact with and deal with people that cross our path. Every encounter will NOT be pleasant. There will be stress. There will be problems. There will be difficulties. Bit we are commanded to be faithful witnesses - even if things go not go our way.
One way we reveal where we really are with Christ is in what we say/how we respond. Each of have said some things we wish we could take back. Some were said carelessly. Some were said maliciously. Some were said without thought --BUT they were said. The words we spoke affected someone personally--reflected on the "real" us--and, can never be taken back,
The Scriptures tell us that our tongues have a pipeline directly from our hearts. Truth is, we do speak words that we "feel." It is true that we can cover up our true feelings with nice-sounding words, at times, but over the long course of life, who we really are gets spilled out in the words we speak.
What these verses are revealing to me is that the "speech problem" I OFTEN have is NOT really a problem of me picking the right words to say. It's not just me becoming aggravated at life's circumstances or me getting mad at someone. My actions/words reveal that I have a "heart problem." No, I'm not talking about my physical heart - it's my spiritual heart. I become a part of that "brood of vipers" because I am not guarding my heart/walking with Christ the way that I ought.
James 3 goes to the "heart" of evil/hurtful speech. or not reacting adversely. A speech problem is really a heart problem. This passage reminds us that the tongue, in it’s natural state, is a source of evil and hurt toward others. It tells us than an evil tongue is fueled by the flames of Hell (James 3:6).
I hear people say, "this is who I am......" I pray I will not accept this twist of the truth by Satan that keeps us from becoming who we can BE IN CHRIST. If I accept this as "just who I am," then I cannot experience the transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ in my life. You see, there is something more wrong with us than simply bad words. Our hearts are corrupted, our tongues poisoned by sin. When Adam and Even fell, the entire human race was injected with the poison of Satan, the venom of evil. So every one of us is born with a powerfully evil tongue. And it’s a tongue that James says, “no man can tame” James 3:7. Yes - this is who I am----and that would seem to be bad news.
EXCEPT---and hear this --it was bad hearts Jesus came to rescue. In his death and resurrection, Jesus crushed that serpent and delivered the antidote for the venom of sin. So----if you really are a follower of Jesus, you no longer have to be a slave to an out-of-control tongue, fueled by a corrupt heart, fed by the flames of Hell. Truth is, Jesus has tamed your tongue!!!
And now, by our submitting to His Spirit in repentance, you can begin to see that tongue used for good rather than evil. That word submit is essential. Please do not see it as demeaning to submit to the Lordship of Christ. Submitting unto the Lord fills your life with an abundance of Joy - it does NOT restrict you or enslave you - it frees us to become all that we can be IN CHRIST. Satan has been pretty successful in getting us to accept ourselves as we are and to see submission unto the Lord as giving up so much/being a negative. That is not true!
The gospel message doesn’t say, “Keep your mouth shut.” No, God designed our tongues to be powerful. But instead of leading people to evil, instead of cutting and wounding, instead of causing so much hurt---our tongues are to be reservoirs of life, to offer words of hope, help, encouragement -- springs of gospel-soaked words that lift, rebuke, encourage, disciple, and love.
As a Christ-follower, you (we) CAN find the grace to overcome a "forked tongue" that ought not to be so much a part of a maturing believer! We find it by daily repentance and cleansing, the Spirit can turn a tongue of evil into a tongue of good.
Remember this---when those words you speak come out different than the words Jesus might speak in that circumstance, they are unacceptable! They are symptoms of a problem. IT's not a word problem--it's a problem with your heart. Take some time today to examine your heart and make the adjustments necessary to proclaim the Gospell to your world today!