Listen twice, speak once.
The preacher's words hit my heart hard and I felt them.
I looked over at my kids as we were intently listening, and they too were struck with the message.
One of my kids, I will not say which one, but SHE had a little bit of a rough patch with her tongue that entire weekend.
She even admitted her cheeky comments and sassy tone.
However, none of us were expecting the sermon to be on taming the tongue.
It was hard not to look over at her, but as soon as I thought better of it I was reminded of my own tongue follies.
Goodness gracious, I certainly had no place pointing a finger.
My nephew was also with us as we listened to the sermon and I could see his eyes secretly glance over at the kid with the mouth folly all weekend just to see her reaction. I giggled a little, I admit.
God was not just speaking to her, He was using a megaphone to get my attention as well.
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:5-6
Umm, wow. Read that little doozie again.
Let's break it down..
-the tongue is small
-yet, it makes great boasts. hello, pride.
-a forest fire begins with a small spark. see, notice the word small again.
-the tongue is a fire, evil among all the parts of the body. eeeek!
-the tongue corrupts the whole body, in fact the whole course of our life can be set on fire by the tongue.
-the tongue is set on fire by hell--the enemy, satan. double eeeeeeek!
Hold on for just a second while I grab a glass of water to gulp down.
God is serious about this issue.
Our tongues are dangerous. They are a small part of our body but a HUGE part of the course of our life.
Life and death come from the tongue.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
Have you ever been criticized or made fun of or been looked down upon verbally?
Of course you have. We all have.
We often remember those words like they were spoken yesterday. They still hurt. They still burn around the edges of the scars left on our hearts.
I often hear words pop into my head that were spoken over me a long time ago...the enemy whispers these words into my unsuspecting ears.
See how that works? Someone spoke that spark of words, and the enemy tries to fan that flame still today.
Many therapists and counselors will tell you that verbal abuse (hence, the tongue), leaves an indelible mark on us. Those words can haunt us and destroy us if we do not replace those words with God's Word and His Truth over us.
You can have a million affirmations but the statement that we remember most will be the one that daggered our hearts the deepest.
The small, narrow body part inside of our mouths has the power of life and death.
How are we using our tongues these days? Oh my. Just flip on the news or social media and you will see the forest fire of words.
Listen twice, speak once.
Are we listening to others? Or are we just trying to get our point across.
Are we praying before we respond or are we just spewing out flames?
Think about conversations you have had this week. With friends, with the spouse, with the kids, with a co-worker, with the clerk at the grocery store, even on social media...
Are we speaking life or are we speaking death?
We are made in God's image. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and you believe that He died for your sins...you have been made NEW in Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
We have this great commission....to reflect Jesus day in and day out. To take up our cross and follow Him...even when it's hard. And it will be!
Our hearts must change in order for our tongues to change.
My kid with the tongue follies crawled into my bed last night. She curled up next to me and said, "Momma, I think my heart is changing. God is doing something in my heart."
I smiled, blinking back tears and whispered, "My heart is changing too."
taming this tongue & this heart day by day,