Words. Words are very powerful. Words can either make or break a nation. Words can lead to peace or war. Words can foster good relationship or prevent it from forming. How about your words? What does it do?
In the Bible, we have seen many stories in which the power of words was exhibited. With the power of God’s word, he said, “Let there be light” and initiated the re-creation of the earth. We have read about the Tower of Babel where people have one language. They are so united that God declared “nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them”.
We also have seen how Satan tempted Jesus and how Jesus defeated Satan through the word of God. Even the whole Bible is composed of words.
As Christians, we need to control the power that is within our tongue. James in his epistle explained how the tongue can condemn us to the point that if we cannot control our words, our religion is useless (James 1:26). Even Christ said that we will be judged by every idle word we say (Matthew 12:36).
Therefore, we can only conclude that words are very vital to our salvation. If you want to see yourself being part of God’s kingdom, you need to control your tongue. We, Christians, are held in a higher standard and God expects us to use the power of words according to His purpose and glory.
In this post, let us take a look 3 points on how we can control our tongue.
Point number 1: Simply, don’t talk too much
Within our lifetime, there will be many times we will have the chance to just simply shut our mouth. Do we take advantage of these golden opportunities? How many times in our lives that we just can’t shut our mouth that we damaged a relationship? How many gossips have we said to one another just because we cannot keep our mouth shut?
Proverbs 10:19 tells us that “The more you talk, the more likely you are to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet” (GNB). Sometimes, the wisest words to say is to just say nothing.
When we stop talking, that is the time we start listening and by listening, we will be able to understand other people better.
I believe that God is making a POINT when he gave us one mouth and two ears. We need to listen twice as much as we talk. We can even shut our mouth, while we can’t even close our ears.
In this world where the freedom of speech is valued, people talk too much without taking into consideration what their words can actually do. People talk about their rights to speak, but they never talk about their rights to listen.
With this proverb, it is safe to say that people who talk less is considered wiser. So if you want to be wise, consider taking a moment of closing your mouth and listen more to other people.
Point number 2: Clean your heart
Now, we are all social beings. We all need to talk. We cannot simply shut our mouth all day since communication is a big part of our life.
But once you are going to talk, you need to make sure that your heart is CLEAN first. Luke 6:45 tells us, “A good person brings good out of the treasure of good things in his heart; a bad person brings bad out of his treasure of bad things. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (GNB).
Jesus Christ is simply telling us that what we say is a reflection of what we are from within. If we continuously fill our hearts with evil things, then evil things will proceed from our mouth. When we are filled with selfish ambitions, covetousness, hatred, and bitterness towards others, then we can expect that what we will say will also be a reflection of those emotions.
Jesus said that words seasoned with salt are considered TREASURES. How much treasure do we have in our hearts? Are we generously giving and sharing “treasures” to other people? People, generally, want to be around generous people.
I have read a quote that says “The more you are rich, the more people will help you… spend your money”. I know that’s kind of negative. But look at it this way, if you are rich in good and uplifting words, the more people would love to be around you. The more people would love to talk to you because of the treasures that you share.
Are we like that brethren? Whenever a person is sad and down, do we use our treasure to make them feel better? Or do they walk away from us, feeling even worse?
I remember when I lost my phone and shared how depress I was with what happened. I was seeking for comfort, but instead this friend of mine blamed me and pointed out ALL that I did wrong and the reasons I lost my phone. I supposed that I will feel better when I talk to him, but instead it made me feel even worse.
How are we able to have more treasures in our hearts? We can only fill our hearts with good treasure by reading God’s words. By attending Sabbath every week. By listening to sermons. By reading The Good News magazine. By watching uplifting movies and not those horror movies. By singing songs of praise and songs with clean lyrics. By having a positive mindset. By applying God’s commandments and ultimately avoiding sin.
In short, by applying the principles found in Philippians 4:8. That we need to meditate on whatever is honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue and praise. That’s how you can fill your heart with more treasures.
Point no. 3: Ask for God’s help
Psalm 141:3 tells us, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips” (KJV). David has many enemies and there are a lot of times when his life was in danger. However, in spite of all of these, he has the wisdom to ask God’s help to put a watch and guard to his lips.
Why? Because good men knows how powerful the tongue is. We might shut our mouth as long as we want, but there will still be a time when we need to speak. We might have the best intentions to say the right words, but still, there will be a time when the wrong words will just fly out of our mouth.
Therefore, we need God’s help. Just like during the time of the ancient Israelites, they may stay awake all night to watch approaching enemies, but it will still be in vain without God’s grace and protection. Like us, no matter how hard we try to choose our words, the timing of when we will talk, without God’s help and wisdom, we will still stumble.
Thus, we need to make it a point to ask God’s help. Let us pray each day, that God will grant us the wisdom of knowing what to say and when to say it. God is willing to help us, if we only have the dedication of asking him for more wisdom.
There are more things to say about this topic and I encourage you to make it a habit to really practice good communication. When you go home today, think about the lessons you learn from this article. Think about how you can improve your communication. Think about the things that you should not say. It might be words of discouragement, idle words, trash talk, curses, and others.
When you do that, replace it with good and uplifting words, words of encouragement, wisdom, love and care.
By this, it is my sincerest hope that James’ words will not be true to us, that our religion is useless. But instead, our religion is useful because we know how to control our tongue.