The ‘zip up’ propaganda is quite familiar, but surely, the trousers ain’t the only thing that needs to be zipped. Just as an unzipped trousers can cause a lot of damage, an unzipped mouth can cause greater havoc.
“We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life. A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can’t go on.” James 3:2-10 (MSG)
The bible passage above is clear and explicit. The way we choose to use our mouths influences what happens around us. It can make or mar us. Many, especially the ladies, tend not to be able to close the mouth for longer than a split second. From endless talking to gossiping to slandering to cursing to abusing/insulting to nagging to unedifying rattling to murmuring/complaining to tale-bearing to praising to praying to blessing to manipulating to criticizing to—–oh, what don’t we use our mouths for!
We all know the arears where we fall short (if we do) and it is expedient that we understand how much havoc our mouths can wreck when used wrongly. Sometimes, we don’t seem to be aware of how powerful the tongue (which of course is vital to the production of speech) can be. The advocates of positive confession understand this and they constantly drum it into our hears to always make positive confessions as opposed to negative ones. The simple reason is because our words can affect us and those around us either positively or negatively. The motive nothwithstanding, when we open our mouths to make certain utterances, we have set the ball in motion for our justification or condemnation.
A story in in the Bible puts this in the right context. A man escaped from the battle front and came to give David the news that Saul, David’s enemy, had been killed. He even ‘bragged’ to David that he was the ‘fortunate’ soldier who accomplished the task. Unfortunately, his mouth ‘killed’ him because he was not spared for the crime (as far as David was concerned) he confessed to. Check out David’s reaction to the man’s ‘story’:
“Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own MOUTH TESTIFIED AGAINST YOU when you said, ‘I killed the LORD’s anointed.'” 2Samuel 1:15-16 (NIV)
This young man thought he was bearing good news, after all, Saul was David’s sworn enemy and he would probably be rewarded for being the one to kill David’s enemy. Oh, how wrong he was! If he had known that he was bearing his own death sentence, he would have kept his mouth shut – he would have zipped it!
The Bible is clear about God’s expectation as regards the use of our mouths. He expects words seasoned with grace from them (Colossians 4:6) and He expects that while we are quick to listen, we should be slow to speak (James 1:19), for in the multitude of words, sin is not lacking (Provebs 10:19). Truly, we may not be able to tame the tongue by ourselves, but the Holy Spirit can teach us self control in this area. Today, join me, let’s pray Psalm 141:3 (NLT) together – “Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips.” Amen.
AyotundeElegbeleye 2014 (Originally written for ThyPreciousJewels)
Jesus is LORD!