A TONGUE ON FIRE

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. James 3:5-6

Too easily do we speak too much, too hastily, and too freely. Choosing to speak much less and more carefully will result in

Look in the Mirror

I begin my day by looking in the mirror. At first glance my reflection is blurry, out of focus. Lenses go in and sight is corrected. Thanks to be to God for those who examine eyes and hand over a tiny box with circular pieces of plastic that help me see.

But what I see is not all I need to see.

In the one-dimensional, man-made mirror my inner-self is blurry, out of focus. Foolishly, I think I look better than I do. Shamefully, I feel sin-ugly.

I turn out the lights and go to the other mirror—The Holy Word Mirror– and read to have the eyesight of my heart corrected. Dimension cannot define the All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Mighty.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13

Today I’m reminded of what I learned decades ago when He spoke through His Word. I’m a talker and He made me that way. He had a plan to use my words that I could not see back then. But I needed to know this:

When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise. Proverbs 10:19
I’ve not always heeded that warning. I’ve sinned with my words in anger, cursing, unwholesome talk, gossip, lies, and slander.
Again, the Spirit reminds me:
I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. Psalm 17:3
He invites me to pause and focus and recommit.

How to Tame the Tongue

The Truth

Few sins exist that do not somehow involve the tongue. Righteous speech results from discipline and choice. Too easily do we speak too much, too hastily, and too freely. Choosing to speak much less and more carefully will result in less sinning.

Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed. Psalm 17:3

In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. Psalm 18:6

Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:12-14

Our invitation

  1. Choose to speak only that which is righteous.
  2. Commit yourself to godly conversation.
  3. Do not grumble and complain when in distress or trouble.
  4. Cry out to God.
  5. Trust that He will hear and answer.
  6. Guard carefully your speech.
  7. Know that righteous speech carries with it the promise of long life.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Billy Graham:

“Guard your tongue, and use it for good instead of evil. How many marriages or friendships have been destroyed because of criticism that spiraled out of control? How many relationships have broken down because of a word spoken thoughtlessly or in anger? A harsh word can’t be taken back; no apology can fully repair its damage.”

How many marriages or friendships have been destroyed because of criticism that spiraled out of control? How many relationships have broken down because of a word spoken thoughtlessly

Quotes about Truth and Our Invitation taken from Truth-in-Action page 790 of The Spirit Filled Life Bible.

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2 Responses to A TONGUE ON FIRE

  1. Charlie July 26, 2017 at 6:25 am #

    Here’s one that has stuck with me…

    Proverbs 17:28
    Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
        when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

    • Stacy Averette August 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

      That’s a good one, sir!