“When words are many, sin is absent, but (s)he who holds his (her) tongue is wise.”
This morning, I read the scripture above as part of my devotional; and it got me thinking – how often do we set ourselves back (spiritually) based on our tongues? I suspect a lot.
Growing up, I heard a lot about taming the tongue – yet I saw very little of said taming in action. In the church, I heard gossip, slander, lies, and complaints – all things that have no place in the Kingdom…yet, there it was.
Thankfully, I grew up with a Pastor who spoke against this type of behavior (often), but it didn’t change anything. I continued to witness “respected” members of the congregation (including spiritual leaders) engage in these activities without remorse, or concern for the consequences of their words, or pushback from fellow believers.
How often do/have we open(ed) our mouths to speak about/against someone in a negative way, and cursed ourselves (and others) with our words?
How many times do/have we pray(ed) for peace/healing, then turn around and used that same tongue to tear down another one of God’s children?
How often do/have we use(d) our words to complain and grumble about our lives?
I don’t know about you, but I am guilty of all of the above. More times than I’d like to remember…or admit.
We say we understand the things of God, but we don’t. If we did, we wouldn’t use our tongues as we do.
We revel in things like “being petty”, putting people “in check”, “telling people off”. We laugh when people use words to tear others down. We barely give thanks (if at all), but we’ll QUICKLY open our mouths to complain at the simpliest of inconveniences. Yet, we claim to love and trust God?
Again, we don’t understand the things of God as we should. If we did, we’d “do unto others as we’d have them do unto us“…but that’s not what we’re doing. There remains all kinds of hate/division amongst “christians”….how can we show anyone The Way when we don’t even love our brothers/sisters in Christ as we are called?
That’s why the church of today lacks power. We don’t even understand the most basic aspects of the Faith. If we are ONE body [in Christ], then speaking negatively against another in that body (regardless if you feel their walk is genuine) is speaking against self, which causes division in the kingdom!
The tongues of men have done much to distort the truth and damage the reputation of the church, and – dare I say it – God.
The reality is, anytime we open our mouths to say something about someone we wouldn’t say if they were present, we’re using our tongues for evil, causing destruction within the Kingdom and our own lives.
It is the same when we use our tongues to complain about our lives or circumstances. We are to be continually thankful; if we’re only thankful when things are going right, we’re not operating in gratitude, but ego.
Gratitude recognizes it deserves nothing and reacts accordingly to the smallest gift. Ego believes it deserves everything and reacts accordingly to the smallest inconvenience. Humility is found in a heart of thankfulness.
When we use our tongue for evil, we reap the curses our tongues have sewn. When we use it for good, we reap the blessings of the Most High.
Peace reigns, when the tongue does not.
The wise man holds his tongue and only uses his words to edify, encourage, and uplift. The foolish man uses his words to complain, condemn, gossip, and slander….
Which are you?