Taming the Tongue
By Anne Mateer
I recently attended the She Speaks conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries. I didn’t get to go to many sessions due to my meetings with other writers, but one I thing I heard struck with me from the moment I heard it. Lysa TerKeurst said that of all the things she wanted us to take away, she wanted us to understand that ministry was 24/7 and that “God-honoring reactions will give us a God-sized reach.”
I remember nodding and thinking, “I’ve been doing pretty well on the reaction thing lately.”
Wait a minute—what is that scripture? Oh yeah, Proverbs 16:18. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
My fall came fast and furious! I returned to my room and called my husband to hear about his day. And I did not react well. I did realize it, but not until I’d had my say on the phone. So I picked myself up, asked for forgiveness, and finished the weekend believing I’d return to my good reaction mode.
But then I arrived home. And several times a day for the next week I heard the biting tone of my voice as my volume rose in frustration. Yes, I was tired. Yes, other people weren’t always acting right. But that wasn’t the point. The point was the quality of my reactions.
So I’ve gone back to some verses about the tongue and am committing them to memory.
Psalm 39:1 I said, “I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle while the wicked are in my presence.”
Proverbs 12:18 There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
James 1:26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.
James 3:8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
So how are you doing? Are there any other “tongue” Scriptures help you keep a rein on your mouth? Or maybe there is another issue that has cropped up in a sermon or a Bible study that you thought you’d conquered but it has reared its ugly head. How are you dealing with that?
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