“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
James 3:2-12 (NKJ)
2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.
4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.
8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring can yield both salt water and fresh.
A spiritually mature person has their tongue under control. Even though the tongue is really small in size, compared to the rest of our body parts, it is very difficult to control. How many times have we said things that we have regretted later? Sometimes, we may have felt that we had “foot-in-mouth” disease! We may have felt that we only opened our mouth to change feet!
Sometimes we say things that just embarrass ourselves, but other times we say things that can ruin relationships or even people’s lives. Words are powerful things. Good words or bad words can make all the difference in someone’s life. Words live on in the memory and can influence the course of a person’s life.
Proverbs 15:4 (NIV)
4 The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
When we speak positive words – they bring life and healing. Negative, bitter words crush a person’s spirit. The Holy Spirit will sanctify our speech if we allow Him to do so. We also need to be sensitive to our own spirit. When we speak wrong words, the spirit will convict us. If something bad slips out – don’t leave it there. Repent –apologize – say something positive.
Proverbs 31:26 (NKJ)
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
The wise, godly person is kind and gentle in their speech.
1 Peter 3:9-12 (NIV)
9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
The words that come out of our mouth determine the blessings we experience in our own lives and the lives of others. If we want to have a long and a blessed life – we need to keep our tongue from evil and our lips from deceitful speech.