*This is a post I originally posted in November 2007, but it is still so relevant today that I wanted to share it again. I needed this reminder as I still struggle in this area. I hope you enjoy it and are encouraged by it.
My dear sisters in Christ, I have such trouble in this area. I am ashamed to say that I have been known to yell at my children, more than once I might add. I am getting better and my children are helping me by reminding me that I said I wouldn’t yell anymore. There are so many areas that can be affected by our tongues; our marriages, our children and our friendships to name a few.
James 3:8-10, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessings and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”
Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:4, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be seasoned with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
So what can we learn from these verses dear sisters? Do you remember the nursery rhyme sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me? Well, that is so untrue. Words can hurt and the hurt can last for a very long time. I have a tape of Lisa Welchel and she tells a story of a little boy that would say hurtful things and his parents decided for every one he said, he would have to drive a nail into a board. After awhile his words and attitude changed and he was able to start pulling the nails for each day he could go without saying something hurtful. When he was all finished, his dad took him to the fence and showed him the holes that were left by the nails and explained to him that our words are like those nails. While the nail might be gone, the damage is still there. I thought that was a great illustration of how our words can affect others. Now, I may have gotten a few details of the story wrong since it has been awhile, but you get the idea.
If you look back up at the James 3 reference, you will see it says our tongues are full of deadly poison. Deadly poison, those are strong words aren’t they? Poison is something destructive or harmful and to think my words can be compared to that saddens me. However, there is hope! With Jesus, my words can be like honeycomb and sweetness to the soul. My speech can actually be health to the bones. It can be a tree of life and turn away wrath. Isn’t that a glorious picture?
So my dear sisters, my question to you now is how can we learn to tame our tongues, always? I will try to list a few ways and then I would love for you to share how you manage this little evil in our mouths.
1. Prayer is the most important thing I have done to control my tongue. I pray God would help me to speak softly and lovingly.
2. Listen before speaking. If I take the time to listen to what the problem is, I can usually answer with a softer voice than if I just jump in without consideration of the issue at hand.
3. Think before speaking, duh right? Sometime this isn’t easy for me but I try to stop, take a deep breath and think about how I should answer each one.
4. Whisper when you feel the urge to yell. This one is hard for me to remember but I have heard this many times.
Okay, 4 is all you get today because I want to hear your ideas!!