afraid-to-speak-upProv.17:28, “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

There are not too many verses in Scriptures which say that the fool can actually do something “right”! This is one verse that says even a fool can do something right – and it has to do with keeping his mouth shut! Even the “spiritual” christian struggles with holding his tongue.

The Book of James has four verses dedicated to man holding his tongue:

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. (Jam 1:26)Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (Jam 3:5)

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (Jam 3:6)

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (Jam 3:8)

 

I know that we have all heard the verses on holding one’s tongue. We have also heard many messages on the same topic. But if the fool can be counted wise when he holds his tongue, how much more the believer? What testimony do we have if we witness to someone and that same person hears gossip or cursing coming out of the same mouth that witnessed to him?

The believer has the ability to conquer the tongue. We have the Holy Spirit residing within us. It is His fruit that we display. If we would be displaying His fruit, we would not have the need to be bridling our tongue.

The believer who has fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance would not be struggling with his tongue. The believer would not be struggling with blessing God in one breath and then cursing someone in the next breath. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (Jam 3:10)

Do not be a wise fool but we a wise christian who displays the fruit of the Spirit. It is accounted unto this fool that he is wise for holding his tongue. All the more responsibility do we have as believers to hold our own tongues.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col 3:16)

Dear God…
May my words be a blessing to those
Who are filled with dismay and strife
Let my words encourage the weak
And lead them to the Fountain of Life

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The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. (Pro 10:20)

The tongue is such a small member according to the Apostle James. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (Jam 3:5)

It’s amazing how such a small member can wreak so much havoc one moment and yet be sweet as honey the next. Should this be the normal way of life for a believer? Absolutely not! The believer who is being led by the Holy Spirit, producing the fruit of the Spirit, does not struggle with his tongue but has command over it. He has learned to control the sin of gossip.

The weak minded believer, however, does not share in this. Not only is this weak minded believer allowing the devil to control him, he does not have the sense to get into the Word and allow the Word to keep him from sin. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) Instead, this weak minded believer relies on what is in his heart to guide him. If the heart is ruled by sin, it won’t guide this person to anything but trouble.

How can a heart filled with gossip allow the tongue to speak gracious words? The weak minded believer thinks he can fool those in his church by pretending to be a good Christian but then gossip and strife come out of his mouth only to reveal his true colors. The Word says that this is wrong! Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (Jam 3:10) This gossip stirs up strife and sows discord. I’ve yet to meet a gossip who has not caused much problems. How can the church have a sweet spirit when there’s a gossip in its midst? How can a church attract visitors when there’s a gossip in its midst?

That gossip not only hurts people with his tongue, but he is also known as a sower of discord! If you want to see just how God feels about a gossip, a sower of discord, all you have to do is search for verses with the words “God, hate” and it will be an eye opener! God hates the sower of discord! It does not say He hates the sin – but he hates the one who sows discord. In fact, it is an abomination to Him. Prov. 6:16-19, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (16) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (17) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (18 ) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (19) A gossip is not only a liar but that gossip is also one that sows discord among the brethren (meaning in church).

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (Jam 3:5) James continues to say that the tongue is like a fire! Fire destroys and kills. This little member of the body can do so much destruction if it is allowed to continue. We cannot sweep a sower of discord’s actions under the rug. It must be dealt with, swiftly, or the church body will be destroyed. What better testimony for the devil than to allow this sower in the church! This should not be so. What a sad day it is when families are destroyed by this person! This gossip and sower of discord is at war with everyone around him, except other gossips. Darkness fellowships with darkness. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. (Psa 55:21)

I have witnessed this gossip in action. I have witnessed this sower of discord in action. These “supposed” Christians have allowed the devil to rule in their lives. Yes, the devil can rule in a Christian’s life. Even Jesus had to rebuke Peter and tell him that the devil was ruling. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Mat 16:23) Jesus was not saying that Peter was possessed by a devil. Jesus was stating that Peter was allowing the devil to rule in his life and Peter’s words were evidence of it. Jesus did not mince words. He did not sweep Peter’s conduct under the rug. Instead, Jesus brought it out and exposed it.

The words of a gossip are wicked, wicked, wicked. There is no life in them but only destruction. Guard your tongue, oh Christian. Be careful what you expose your heart to. What is in your heart will come out of your mouth. No Word, you know much gossip and discord. Know the Word, you have no gossip and discord. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (Mat 15:18 )

So, what is considered gossip? If you want to steer away from even the appearance of evil on this one, consider gossip as anything that is said about someone that is not gracious and kind. Many disguise their gossip with statements like, “Bless her heart, she just doesn’t have enough money to buy a dress that would cover her whole body!” My friend, don’t be fooled. You can only Febreeze a skunk so much and his scent will come right through it! Don’t allow the devil rule over your mouth. Yes, I said “allow”! It is our choice to gossip. Recognize the sin of gossip … repent … confess it … seek forgivness from those you have hurt … forsake it. Then fill your heart with the precious Word and allow it to cleanse you, keep you clean, and prevent you from falling.

Dear God…
Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight,
O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
(Psa 19:14)

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Pro 25:11)

Don’t you love Solomon’s style of writing? He had a way of painting a picture for you. Can you just picture in your mind’s eye what apples of gold in pictures of silver look like? But do you really get the true meaning behind it? The whole point of this Proverb is to bring your attention to a word that is fitly spoken and its value. I see these as God’s apples. These apples have much value in God’s eyes. God looks upon the Christian who guards his tongue and makes sure that he always has the words of hope and kindness ready for all to hear.

There are surely various scenarios in life but each requires that words be fitly spoken. The first scenario I think of is during an argument. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Pro 15:1) I’m sure you’ll agree that this soft answer qualified as a word fitly spoken. Speaking kindness also qualifies in this category. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. (Pro 31:26) How about speaking the blessed Gospel to the lost? Oh, how fitly spoken are they? But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1Pe 3:15)

But wherever you see something referencing what God loves, you don’t have to go too far in your reading before you find what the world loves. The world’s apples are quite the opposite. The wicked are known for their tongue. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. (Psa 50:19) His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. (Psa 10:7) A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. (Pro 26:28)

Where do your words fit? Are they apples of gold or apples with worms? As disgusting as this picture looks, I’m sure our Heavenly Father looks upon His children’s unfit words as such. Which would you rather be known for? Someone who spoke kind and uplifting words which the Lord considers as apples of gold? Or someone whose words are unkind, venomous, and filled with worms?

Dear God…
[To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.]
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
(Psa 39:1)


My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. ~James 3:1-12

Our tongue is little in comparison to the rest of our body but it sure can be a sharp little tool if it is not trained! (James 3:10) One minute it can praise God and the next minute it can gossip about another!

So how can we train our tongue? (Psalm 39:1) Firstly, we must change the condition of the heart, amen? (Luke 6:45) Starting the day with the words from Psalm 19:14 is an excellent beginning 🙂 When my heart is right, the words coming from my lips will be also.

As I read today’s text, the Lord impressed upon my heart Colossians 4:6 – my speech should be seasoned with salt. Just what is the purpose of salt in our lives? Why would the Lord use this analogy? Meditating on the little word salt and comparing it to our everyday life opened this part of scripture so much more. I don’t know about you, but I really get more out my reading when analogies are used. The Lord sure knows His creation 🙂 He knows we learn better with real life applications. So what does salt actually do for us?

(1) It adds flavor to food – Again, Colossians 4:6 says my speech should be “seasoned” with salt. We all know what food tastes like when too much salt is added. It’s just not edible! But the right amount of salt makes food taste awesome! So does my speech add flavor to a conversation? Do I contribute something from God’s Word when someone opens their heart to me? When someone comes to me discouraged, do I have the right words to encourage them? (Psalm 19:14) We should strive to share verses with everyone we talk to, saved or unsaved, and add flavor to our conversations. Remember, God promises that His Word will not go out void.

(2) To preserve food – Do your words preserve? There are lost souls everywhere and their souls need to be preserved, if you will. They need to hear the Gospel and they need to hear it with “flavor.” (John 6:68) We have the words of life and they are lost! Do you see a Christian friend heading toward distruction? That friend needs to be preserved – that friend needs you to love her and show her through the scriptures what she is doing wrong. I am close to two dear ladies and both are not hesitant in preserving me 😀 They would rather see me living for the Lord than to stray and be chastised. That is a characteristic of a good friend!

(3) To heal open sores – We have all gargled with salt water at one time or another. It helps to heal mouth sores. Do your words bring comfort and healing? (Proverbs 12:18) To the lost, your words should be the Gospel. (John 6:68) To the saved, your words should be full of mercy rather than judgment. (Luke 6:36) We say that we love the sinner yet hate the sin – do we really ? We need to remember that we all are sinners. (Romans 7:24) Not one day goes by that we are not tempted and sin because of it. So who are we to consider ourselves better than the one who has fallen? We are told to love one another – only then will our words bring healing to those who are hurting!

Our goal should be to draw others to the scriptures. (Acts 8:31) Just as salt causes us to thirst and to heal, so should our speech be to others. God’s words will not return to us void – He promises us this! (Isaiah 55:11) Every time I look at a salt shaker, you can be sure I look at it differently! 🙂

gossip~Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

There are many verses we could read about the tongue and I’ve listed them below for you to look up on your own. Today’s verse describes the tongue in a two-fold manner. It discusses the proper and improper uses of the tongue.

I’ve been on the receiving end of someone who spoke like the piercing of a sword. Let’s picture this sword for a moment. A sword’s purpose brings injury or death. It serves no other purpose, except if one uses it as a trophy for show.  It is proper that this verse would compare the tongue to a sword. How many times have you been cut by words spoken by an angry person? How many times have those words cut so deeply that you have found it difficult to forgive a person? We have all been there at some point. Does this justify the person’s use of their tongue like a sword? Not at all.

As the first part of today’s text brings harm and/or death, the latter brings health. Good health is such a blessing, isn’t it? No pains, no sicknesses – we cherish each day that we can get up and not feel a twinge! A wise tongue is the same as good health according to the Scriptures. The words of a wise person help another to good health – not in the physical sense but in the emotional and spiritual sense.

What condition is your tongue today? In actuality, your tongue will be in the same condition as your heart.  You can fool people into thinking you are super spiritual but when a situation arises where your temper takes hold, your spiritual condition will come shining through.  My Sunday School teacher shared something that happened to him. A solicitor came to his door when he was in a hurry to leave for a doctor’s appointment.  He had told the solicitor that he could return that evening when he would have time to sit and talk to him.  However, the solicitor was adamant and kept up with his sales pitch. After several attempts to stop the solicitor, my teacher slammed the door in the solicitor’s face. He felt so badly afterwards because he had not shown more restraint and apologized to the solicitor when he returned that evening.

Do you come bearing health to some and a sword to others? Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (James 3:11) It should not be so for believers. We should have sweet water all the time. Our words should bring health to others all the time. If bitter water flows from our mouths and our words cut like a sword, can we honestly say we are walking with the Lord? A person who reacts this way with his tongue is one who is not yielded to the Holy Spirit of God.

Have you been hurt by someone’s words? Have they cut you deeply? Remember where those words came from. This hurtful person could be lost as lost can be. If so, they are doing a great job serving their father, the devil. He is the epitome of self centeredness and they have learned from him well. It helps to understand why they are the way they are. It does not take the pain away, but it sure does help you focus your thoughts on why they have a need to hurt you. Give God the glory and move on. If this person is a born-again Christian, they are not yielded to the Holy Spirit in their lives. Forgive this brother and pray for an opportunity to help this brother in this area. Pray for a peaceful time where you can share how the comments hurt you. If this brother is repentant and won, this is a blessing and you have exhorted this brother to righteousness. If this brother is unrepentant and uses his tongue as a sword once again, we are commanded in Matthew 18:22 to forgive our brother (another believer) as many times as it takes. Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you exactly what you need to love this brother the way God loves him.

A sword produces bleeding, wounds and scars. The one on the receiving end will never be the same because wounds leave scars. Can we who have been wounded recover? Absolutely! How? By yielding our tongue to the control of the Holy Spirit. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (Jam 3:13) (Emphasis mine) When we are in the Scriptures seeking after knowledge and wisdom, we will put to practice what we have learned and show forth good conversation. Is it easy? No, it is not. Is it do-able? Yes it surely is! I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

This is yet another burden to lay at the Saviour’s feet, my friend. We are not alone in our struggles but we have each other – the brothers and sisters in Christ who can exhort us unto righteousness and pray for us. Praise the Lord for being a part of this wonderful family. Christ died for each of us, while we were yet sinners! If anyone had reason to be offended by the tongues of man, it was He.

Extra Verses on the Tongue:

Prov. 10:20
Prov. 11:12
Prov. 13:3
Prov. 14:25
Prov. 15:1, 4, 23
Prov. 15:28
Prov. 16:24, 28
Prov. 18:8, 13, 21
Prov. 21:23
Prov. 25:11
Prov. 26:17
Prov. 26:20
Prov. 27:2
James 3:5
James 3:8

Dear God…
May my tongue be controlled
Each day as I yield to You
Help the living waters flow
So others may see the Truth

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. ~James 3:1-12

Our tongue is little in comparison to the rest of our body but it sure can be a sharp little tool if it is not trained! (James 3:10) One minute it can praise God and the next minute it can gossip about another!

So how can we train our tongue? (Psalm 39:1) Firstly, we must change the condition of the heart, amen? (Luke 6:45) Starting the day with the words from Psalm 19:14 is an excellent beginning 🙂 When my heart is right, the words coming from my lips will be also.

As I read today’s text, the Lord impressed upon my heart Colossians 4:6 – my speech should be seasoned with salt. Just what is the purpose of salt in our lives? Why would the Lord use this analogy? Meditating on the little word salt and comparing it to our everyday life opened this part of scripture so much more. I don’t know about you, but I really get more out my reading when analogies are used. The Lord sure knows His creation 🙂 He knows we learn better with real life applications. So what does salt actually do for us?

(1) It adds flavor to food – Again, Colossians 4:6 says my speech should be “seasoned” with salt. We all know what food tastes like when too much salt is added. It’s just not edible! But the right amount of salt makes food taste awesome! So does my speech add flavor to a conversation?   Do I contribute something from God’s Word when someone opens their heart to me? When someone comes to me discouraged, do I have the right words to encourage them? (Psalm 19:14) We should strive to share verses with everyone we talk to, saved or unsaved, and add flavor to our conversations. Remember, God promises that His Word will not go out void.

(2) To preserve foodDo your words preserve? There are lost souls everywhere and their souls need to be preserved, if you will. They need to hear the Gospel and they need to hear it with “flavor.” (John 6:68) We have the words of life and they are lost! Do you see a Christian friend heading toward distruction? That friend needs to be preserved – that friend needs you to love her and show her through the scriptures what she is doing wrong. I am close to two dear ladies and both are not hesitant in preserving me 😀 They would rather see me living for the Lord than to stray and be chastised. That is a characteristic of a good friend!

(3) To heal open soresWe have all gargled with salt water at one time or another. It helps to heal mouth sores. Do your words bring comfort and healing?  (Proverbs 12:18) To the lost, your words should be the Gospel.  (John 6:68) To the saved, your words should be full of mercy rather than judgment. (Luke 6:36) We say that we love the sinner yet hate the sin – do we really ? We need to remember that we all are sinners. (Romans 7:24) Not one day goes by that we are not tempted and sin because of it. So who are we to consider ourselves better than the one who has fallen? We are told to love one another – only then will our words bring healing to those who are hurting!

Our goal should be to draw others to the scriptures. (Acts 8:31) Just as salt causes us to thirst and to heal, so should our speech be to others. God’s words will not return to us void – He promises us this! (Isaiah 55:11) Every time I look at a salt shaker, you can be sure I look at it differently! 🙂