You know the moment I’m talking here. You are having a great day or maybe a not so great. Either way, someone drops food on the floor, someone else leaves clothes everywhere, and before long the house is a WRECK. You just cleaned it less than 15 minutes ago and you’re about to lose. Your. Mind. I know this moment all too well because this is normally when I lose it and end up wishing I had held my tongue just a little bit better. We all do, right? Well, today I want help being held accountable and I’m sure you do, too! Here are some ideas I have for how we’re to better watch our tongue.
Luke 6:45 “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
I don’t know about you, but this one breaks my heart. There’s always truth in what we say. Sometimes it’s magnified out of proportion, but this is so true. The mouth DOES say what the heart is full of. So the first step for “open mouth” recovery is to do a heart check. Yes, a heart check. What in our heart isn’t right? Have we not forgiven someone for something they’ve done? Are we continuing to hold onto things in the past? Either way, I think it’s important to check our heart and make sure nothing we’re feeling will affect us later on in what we say and do.
James 3:3-5 “A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!”
The next step is to acknowledge just how powerful our tongue is and the words that come out of it. We can restore a broken marriage with our tongue. We can show our children the amount of our love with our tongue. We can help others with our tongue. The same would be true when we speak ill words- we can destroy people we love with what we say, with our tongue. It’s definitely something that can be used for good but many of us haven’t tamed it.
James 3:7-10 “People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth.”
We also need to acknowledge there is no way to permanently “tame” our tongue. It’s just not possible. Does this mean that we just do and say whatever we want? No. It means we don’t always speak when we’re angry. Sometimes it’s best to walk about from a situation for a short while so you can calm yourself and put everything in check. If you can’t walk away, try counting to 15, 30 or 60 before you say anything. Make sure that you have allowed yourself time to go on more than just emotion when you speak.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
The last thing we can do is rely on God. When we become His children, we are born anew. We are no longer slaves to our lives and are under his guidance. If we are truly made anew, we can no longer allow ourselves to believe that we are stuck how we are now. We can change, we can become better people. We can be more like Christ.
I hope this has encouraged you today. Our tongues may not be able to be tamed, but God can work through us to make us who we’re suppose to be. Part of that is to remember that we have responsibility in it, too. Come up with ways that you know you can tame your tongue. Here are some ideas:
- Pray! When you know you’re tempted to say something you know you shouldn’t, pray that God will help you control your tongue and what you say.
- Practice allowing yourself time to think before you speak. Whether it be a few seconds or walking away for a few hours, make sure it happens. Along with that, make sure the person you’re with knows why you’re walking away or pausing for a short time. It doesn’t help to just not speak or walk off without explaining why.
- Before you speak, try to think how you would respond to what you’re about to say. Chances are, if you wouldn’t like it, the other person wouldn’t either.
- Try not to cast blame on anyone. Discussions that begin with “you always…” or “you never….” are never good. They will almost always turn discussions into an argument.
- If you most likely argue with the same person (ie: your spouse, parent, child, etc), talk together about ways that you all can work to improve. There may be things that set them off and you off that you didn’t know about one another. The goal is to learn to stay away from these things, not use them later.
What’s your best advice for watching your tongue?