Tongue Control (James 3:8)

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An uncontrolled tongue can sure get us into a ton of trouble. For example, when our teachers all had the same report for our parents: Nice student, but he talks too much.” Or when we’re on the phone and our mind says, “Don’t spread gossip about Jenny,” but our mouth says, “You wouldn’t believe what I heard about Jenny!” or what about those harsh words to the kids the other night? Need I go on? I don’t have to for my sake. It’s getting pretty close to home.

The battle to control our tongue can seem like a losing cause. No wonder James called the tongue “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (3:8).

So, given our natural tendency to get into trouble with our tongue, what can we do to gain tongue control? Even though James said that “no man can tame the tongue,” we have help from God and His Word. Consider these principles:

  • Don’t let your tongue speak evil (Psalm 34:13).
  • Use your tongue to praise God (Psalm 51:14, 15).
  • Promote health with wise words (Proverbs 12:18).
  • Don’t “badmouth” others (James 4:11).
  • Instead of boasting, trust God (James 4:13-16).

For these biblical principles to work, though, we must depend on Christ to guide what we say. He alone can give us tongue control. – J. David Branon

What! Never speak one evil word,

Or rash, or idle, or unkind?

Oh, how shall I, most gracious Lord,

This mark of true perfection find? – Wesley

It is better to bite your tongue than to let it bite someone else.

  • April 20, 1991, Our Daily Bread
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