As usual with my musings posts, I see a thing that needs to dealt with in me and I ponder, and wonder, and fret, and then go to God’s Word.
Today, it involves my tongue. Going through my blog posts for the past 9 years I see a bunch of times where I just can’t keep my mouth shut. Needing to right a wrong, help an underdog/victim, find out things for myself… much to my own determent.
I have lost friends, fought with friends, damaged countless relationships with family, son, mother, lost a church family, fractured friendships beyond repair. Some because of theology, some because of sin, or perceived sin on my part. Some because of loyalty lost, some of hurts I needed out in the open, some because I need the underdog to know I cared. Some because I wanted others to see my side of it. Some because I have just blatantly come right out and ask someone how they are doing because of a rumor I may have heard.
I know I have gotten better since my Before Christ days and I know I do weigh and measure my responses before I say them. And altho I know the consequences are gonna suck, I do it anyway.
Have I ever changed a person’s mind when I have wagged my tongue? Have I ever left the conversation better than it started? Have I succeeded in making any of the parties a better person? Probably not. I hope I have helped the people I wanted to help. I as much as knowing God is really the one who can help.
From an email I sent to someone today:
”My need to see wrongs righted often times override my need for patience, understanding and quietness.”
The tongue is a small yet powerful part. Use it wisely.
James 3 English Standard Version (ESV)
Taming the Tongue
3 (A)Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For (B)we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, (C)he is a perfect man, (D)able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put (E)bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet (F)it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And (G)the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, (H)staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, (I)full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people (J)who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Psalm 37:29-31English Standard Version (ESV)
29 The righteous shall inherit the land
and (A)dwell upon it forever.
30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.
31 (B)The law of his God is in his heart;
his (C)steps do not slip.
psalm 34, 11 (R)Come, O children, listen to me;
(S)I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 (T)What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may (U)see good?
13 (V)Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from (W)speaking deceit.
14 (X)Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and (Y)pursue it.
Psalm 15English Standard Version (ESV)
Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?
A Psalm of David.
15 O Lord, (A)who shall sojourn in your (B)tent?
Who shall dwell on your (C)holy hill?
2 He who (D)walks blamelessly and (E)does what is right
and (F)speaks truth in his heart;
3 who (G)does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor (H)takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 (I)in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who (J)swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who (K)does not put out his money at interest
and (L)does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be (M)moved.
Proverbs 31:25-27English Standard Version (ESV)
25 (A)Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 21:22-24English Standard Version (ESV)
22 (A)A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 (B)Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
(C)keeps himself out of (D)trouble.
24 (E)“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
Proverbs 15:3-5English Standard Version (ESV)
3 (A)The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4 (B)A gentle[a] tongue is (C)a tree of life,
but (D)perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5 (E)A fool (F)despises his father’s instruction,
but (G)whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
Proverbs 10:19-21English Standard Version (ESV)
19 (A)When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
(B)but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
20 The tongue of the righteous is (C)choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for (D)lack of sense.
No One Is Righteous
9 What then? Are we Jews[a] any better off?[b] No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both (N)Jews and (O)Greeks, are (P)under sin, 10 as it is written:
(Q)“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 (R)“Their throat is (S)an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
(T)“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 (U)“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 (V)“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and (W)the way of peace they have not known.”
18 (X)“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever (Y)the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, (Z)so that every mouth may be stopped, and (AA)the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For (AB)by works of the law no human being[c] will be justified in his sight, since (AC)through the law comes knowledge of sin.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8English Standard Version (ESV)
The Way of Love
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have (A)prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, (B)so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 (C)If I give away all I have, and (D)if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
Hearing and Doing the Word
19 (AG)Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person (AH)be quick to hear, (AI)slow to speak, (AJ)slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore (AK)put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with (AL)meekness the implanted word, (AM)which is able to save your souls.
22 But be (AN)doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, (AO)the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, (AP)he will be blessed in his doing.
26 If anyone thinks he is religious (AQ)and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s (AR)religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: (AS)to visit (AT)orphans and widows in their affliction, and (AU)to keep oneself (AV)unstained from the world.
1 Peter 3:
8 Finally, all of you, (K)have unity of mind, sympathy, (L)brotherly love, (M)a tender heart, and (N)a humble mind. 9 (O)Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, (P)bless, for (Q)to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For
(R)“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”