I've been thinking today about taming the tongue...
James 3:5-12 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. 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. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Matthew 12:46 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
I've been thinking about how many idle (or worse) words that I use, and regularly. About how I'd like to use ALL of my words for good. To encourage and build up others. To speak life. To speak truth. To dwell on Heavenly things, and not my emotions and circumstances.
I've been thinking a lot about something Jeremy said lately (paraphrased), about how he doesn't want to spend his time talking and thinking about what the devil is doing and giving him credit, but how he wants to use his words to give glory, praise, and honor to God. (This to me adds perspective to Phil 4:8).
This has me thinking. A. LOT. I think that a large portion of my conversations with others involve giving credit to the devil. They involve talking about our challenges, struggles, frustrations, and more.
And I'm wondering if there is a balance between transparency (which I highly value), and using my words and thoughts to dwell on my Lord, His works, and His ways. I don't want to appear perfect and that I have it all together by only sharing the encouraging things in my life. But, I don't want to waste extra time, energy, and words on the bad. The more I dwell on those things, the more my focus is on myself, and not on Jesus. I want everything that I say to ultimately point back to Jesus, to His perfect love for all people.
And then I think more, about how we can't tame the tongue ourselves, but only through surrender to Christ. That the tongue is merely a vehicle through which my inner heart problem flows. (Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.) And I soak in more and more of His love, that it may overflow to others.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.