~Proverbs 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:

~James 3:5-6, 8 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! (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. (8) But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 

 

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.

~James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

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.

~Colossians 3:16 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.

~Proverbs 10:20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

The tongue is such a small member according to the Apostle James.

~James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 

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 of God and allow the Scriptures to keep him from sin.

~Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 

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. God’s word says that this is wrong!

~James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

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? A busy body does so much damage to everyone she comes in contact with!

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.

~Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. 

A gossip is not only a liar but that gossip is also one that sows discord among the brethren (meaning in church).

~James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

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.

~Psalm 55:21 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. 

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.

~Matthew 16:23 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.

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.

~Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 

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’t Febreeze a skunk – it will still be a skunk and it will still stink! 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 Scriptures and allow it to cleanse you, keep you clean, (Psalm 119:9) and prevent you from falling.

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

~Proverbs 15:1-2 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (1) The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. (2)

I think we have all been through one of those arguments with our dear husbands where we know that he is wrong but he doesn’t know that he is wrong! 🙂 Yes, we can chuckle at this statement but what do we do as submissive wives during times like these?

Today’s verses tell us what to do. I have used these verses and applied them to my relationship with my beloved. After I remained quiet and didn’t try to prove my point, I discovered that God had the opportunity to work in the situation.How many times do we step in and have things work out horribly?!

If I had “fought back,” God would not have been able to show His glory. More times than not, when I apply Proverbs 15:1-2 in my conversations/arguments with my beloved, the Lord works it out and works in my husband’s heart. When I jump the gun, I don’t give the Lord the opportunity to work in the situation and I make it worse.

I hope that makes sense to ya’ll 🙂 Try to apply these two verses today with your beloved. God honors His Word!