We all know that it’s important to control what we say, but that doesn’t make it necessarily easy to do! The Scriptures have quite a lot to teach us about this subject.
- Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. (Pro 4:24 ESV)
Crooked can mean dishonest, corrupt, twisted or unscrupulous. Devious means sneaky, cunning, or scheming. As followers of Jesus Christ, we can understand why neither of these would be admirable behavior for us. The Holy Spirit would never lead us to act in such a way, particularly in light of Matthew 5:37; Colossians 3:9 and 4:6; and Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Eph 4:25 NIV)
- All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them. (Pro 8:8 NASB)
The psalmist is laying his heart before the Lord concerning the use of his tongue. Let us each remember Psalm 12:6, The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. (NIV) In imitating our Savior, we should speak pure words, full of righteousness. Short of that, we should choose to be silent.
- But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. (Col 3:8 RSV)
This Bible verse (above) clearly tells us what type of behavior and conversation that we should reject. And we are given a clear instruction of what we should communicate in Ephesians 4:29, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (NIV) Our words should encourage, comfort, and bless other people. In this way, we become ministers of the love and presence of the Lord to other people.
- If you think you are being religious, but can’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is useless. (Jam 1:26 CEV)
In the book of James, we’re reminded that controlling our tongues is a basic requirement for believers who represent the Lord Jesus and the kingdom of God.
- Obscene language, silly talk, or vulgar jokes aren’t acceptable for believers. Instead, there should be thanksgiving. (Eph 5:4 CEB)
Thanksgiving is always appropriate. Having an attitude of gratitude will improve our daily lives and generate a pleasant atmosphere for those around us. Being thankful to other people, as well as to God for His many blessings, is always appreciated.
To sum up today’s article, here is one more Bible passage:
Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit . . . (1 Pet 3:10 ESV) May God give you good days and continual blessings!