The Bible tells us something rather surprising in James 3—that the person who does not stumble in word is a perfect man or woman. This person is one who is able to control everything about themselves. Wow!
For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. (Jas 3:2-3, emphasis added
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. (Ps 34:13)
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. (Pro 16:24)
The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook. (Pro 18:4)
“He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.” (1 Pet 3:10)
Controlling our words is one of the most difficult things for human beings. As 1 Peter 3 reminds us, we should refrain from speaking evil. Do you know that “speaking evil” means some different things to God? It means:
- Saying anything that is less than 100% true;
- Repeating gossip—even if it’s true;
- Agreeing with other people who spread lies or say unpleasant things;
- Saying negative or bad things about ourselves;
- Repeating negative things;
- Speaking anything that does not agree with God’s Word.
It surprises people to realize that even if they say something negative about themselves, it is unpleasing to God. God wants us to agree with what HE says about each one of us. He says that His children are:
- Fearfully and wonderfully made, (Ps 139:14)
- His special treasure, (Ps 135:4)
- The apple of His eye, (Zech 2:8)
- Chosen and dearly loved, (1 Pet 2:4)
- Given His approval, (1 Thes 2:4) and
- Accepted in Jesus. (Eph 1:6)
From this list, we can understand that the Lord loves us and has said many wonderful things concerning His children—those who love Him and obey Him. Since our words proceed from our thoughts, a key Scripture to meditate upon regularly is:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Phil 4:8)
As we think about God’s blessings and meditate upon His Words, our own words will begin to change and will correspond to what the Scripture has to say about everything. God bless you!