According to the Scriptures, one of the biggest indicators that shows you where you really are in life is the control of your tongue or how you talk, yet it is the one thing that is the hardest to control. Words are always important to God. He created the universe with His words; sent the Word who became flesh in the person of Christ; and much more; so to me, it makes sense that He would want us to watch what we say. The difficulty in controlling our tongues is always an opportunity for humility, especially if we think of ourselves as extra spiritual. This is what James 1:26 says about religious people and the tongue:
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. James 1:26 NLT
Wow! It’s pretty crazy that we can fool ourselves so easily by claiming to be devoted to Jesus, yet have worthless religion merely based on the lack of control over how we speak. This struggle with the tongue isn’t just referring to profanity; the struggle also includes the ways we speak death and word curses over people, especially when provoked.
If you find that you have a habit of talking down to someone you don’t like, or wishing bad on them, mocking others, gossiping, and more, your faith in Christ is literally worthless even if you think otherwise. This is such a hard pill to swallow, especially when we consider how easy it is to let negative speech fly off our tongues in a culture that rewards us for it. We are inundated with social media “clapbacks” and “reads” of people, where many are rooting for the complete take-down of another individual who would dare to cross you.
The word says that as believer, we shouldn’t fall prey to those habits in the culture around us, because it doesn’t show the worth of Christ in our lives. It exposes hypocrisy in us as James 3:9-10 shows:
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:9-10 ESV
It can be easy for some of us to do the spiritual act of honoring God, yet treat people who are flesh and blood the complete opposite of how you treated God. Yet, God has consistently shown us throughout history that the way we treat each other is the way we treated Him, and He doesn’t take too kindly to disrespect and double standards. I encourage you to watch your mouth, and even before I encourage you, I encourage myself!
Let us all strive to speak well of each other as much as we strive to speak well of God. What are some ways that we can better tame our tongue? Let’s talk in the comments below!