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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Guard Your Tongue (James 3)

I think we often underestimate the power of our words. Words, once spoken, audibly or even typed, have the power to sever relationships, break hearts, and permanently push others away. Scripture tells us Satan even tempted Jesus with the power of the tongue.

Yet Jesus, God the Son, is called the Word of God. So when the Spirit of God dwells within us and we submit ourselves to His guidance, our tongue also has the power to point people to the good news of salvation through Jesus, literally shining light on the lives of others instead of darkness.

So then when we are focused on living for Jesus, encouraging and loving words come out. But when we are focused on ourselves and our own wants, often times dark words come out with criticisms that cut deeply and tear others down.

Scripture says this about how we use our tongue and the words we choose to let loose:

With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. James 3:9

But the purpose of our tongue is not for cursing and tearing down but for blessing. Jesus wants His followers to bless others with our tongue, share the good news of salvation, encourage, and love others, not tear them down and destroy them.

Satan destroys. God blesses and loves:

From the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. James 3:10

When we bless, love, and encourage others, people will see Christ in us. But when we curse, tear down, and seek to destroy with our words, people see the evil one in us.

Even worse, sometimes we complain about those closest to us to the world and then wonder why our loved ones don't want to have anything to do with us. We wonder why they don't see Christ working in us, through the power of our words.

When we are squeezed, those closest to us see our faith or the lack there of, by our actions and by our words.

What do those closest to you see from your words?

Are you pushing people away or do they feel and see the love of Christ in you?

Do they see a Christ follower or someone who is following Satan's example, seeking to tear down others to get them to do what you want them to do?

Dear Lord, Thank you for this reminder. Your Word says "no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison." I know that's true, Lord. It is so easy to get angry and spout off with words that do not represent You well to those around us. Lord, only You can control my tongue and You do so when I draw close to You and submit even my words to You. Lord, I submit to You in all areas of my life, including my tongue. Please make me silent and keep me from speaking or typing if my words will not represent You well. Please put it on my heart when I need to apologize for words spoken that hurt others rather than encourage them and point them to You. Lord, please use me. Please give me the words You want me to speak and put a burden on my heart when I am to speak them. Lord, I pray that my words will always bring You glory and draw others to You. In Jesus' name, I pray, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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