Only God can tame our tongue, but we have the responsibility to bridle it. We have to learn to transform our speech. When the Bible says that the tongue is humanly untameable, does that mean that we don’t have any responsibility? God can divinely tame it, but does that mean that it’s just up to God to tame our mouth without us trying?
James 1:26 – If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.
If anyone thinks he is serving God but does not bridle his tongue, his service to God is useless. Yes, God can tame the tongue, but what is our responsibility? Our responsibility, according to this verse, is to “Bridle” the tongue.
If I say that the “soul” is humanly “unsaveable,” that means we can’t save our self, only God can. However, we do have a responsibility. We have to respond to the grace of God! We have to turn and repent and believe.
The same goes for the tongue. We have to learn to bridle the tongue and it may take a while, but we still need to do it. There are certain things we can do, to begin with:
James 1:19 – Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
Most people that get angry quickly, have a hard time listening first and then they can’t control their mouth. If we want to be slow to anger, then we need to be slow to speak. Think before we say something in response to another. We do the opposite of what the Bible tells us to do. We are quick to speak and we don’t listen. The Bible says “swift to hear, listen, and then slow to speak. So we learn to just stop, pause before we say something or we might have to apologize for it later.
Proverbs 21:23 – Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 10:19 – In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
Proverbs 17:27 – He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. (Verse 28) Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.
Proverbs 18:13 – He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.
How about not finishing another’s sentence for them. Listen before you answer. How about when someone starts telling about an event and another jumps in and has to tell the same thing, by interrupting the other person and then the one who started first, tells the other to just go ahead and finish the story. This is rude, plain and simple!
How many times do we say something and then later think, “I wish I had thought about what I said before I said it.” There are people who think before they speak and people who think while they are speaking and then people who never think until after they have said something. I would love to be the person that takes a moment to ponder and think about what I am about to say. I’m working on that one.
We think in two places. According to the Bible, we think with our mind and we also think in our heart.
Proverbs 23:7 – For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…
Luke 2:19 – But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 9:47 – And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him.
Matthew 9:4 – But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?”
Matthew 15:19 – “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts.”
Our hearts can think. There is scientific proof that some that have received a heart transplant, has some of the likes and dislikes of the doner. This is amazing! If we would just learn to pause about what we are about to say, that would give us time to ponder it in our hearts, not just our minds. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
The Bible tells us that when we are saved, we get a new heart, so let your converted heart tell the “renewing” mind what to say.
Isaiah 6:1 – In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. (Verse 2) Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings; with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. (Verse 3) And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”
(Verse 4) And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. (Verse 5) Then I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
(Verse 6) Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. (Verse 7) And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is purged.” (Verse 8) Also, I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
So as Isaiah goes into the temple to worship God, he has a vision. And immediately when he sees a Holy God, he’s convicted about his mouth! Now, why would we not start each day by asking God to help us control our tongue? We ask the Lord for help in all areas of our lives, but how many of us remember to include the mouth?
If you are born again, then you have submitted your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. So why not start every day submitting your tongue to the Holy Spirit and see what a huge difference that will make.