Sunday, November 22, 2009

Alligator Mouth

"But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be." James 3:8-10

We were discussing the tongue in Sunday School this morning. I know my tongue can get me into trouble sometimes. I can be pretty forthright, sarcastic, blunt, and the list goes on and on. I can be gentle, but when the situation calls for speaking truth in love, then I am your woman. But sometimes I don't realize that my words can come across being judgemental and condemning. Please know that is not my heart at all. I am working on this.

Sometimes we forget that our tongue can hurt, cut, offend, tear, curse. Out of it can also flow bitterness, unforgiveness, crudeness, foul language, destruction.

The same tongue can produce kindness, blessing, encouragement, thanksgiving, love, peace.

How can the same tongue produce such opposite language and attitudes?

Because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34).

We speak what is in our heart. Period.

If hatred and ugliness is in our heart, then that's what comes out of our mouth.

If love and kindness are present, then that's what comes out.

You know it really comes down to an issue of self-control. I have heard some people control their foul language around certain groups of people (women, kids, church people) and let it loose around others. If they can control it, then they can get rid of it. If we all would think before we speak, then it would save us all a lot of theatrical apologies later as Anne Shirley would say.

With our tongue people bless God and then walk out of the doors of the church building cursing Him with their language. It ought not to be. It a reflection of our heart.

What a bad testimony our tongue can be. Gossip seems to be mainstream in our society even among Christians. I myself can be guilty of that as well. Where you draw the line I don't know. Gossip can be truth, but it doesn't give us the right to speak it to others all in the name of prayer. You have heard people speak a "prayer request" all in the name of gossip. Unless you have been given permission by that person to share personal things, then it should be kept to yourselves. I tell you I am guilty about sharing things with others that I have no business sharing. My intentions are pure and my motives are right, but should I be saying it? I don't know.

I could keep going on and on about this. So much truth can be spoken on this issue.

What do you think? Where do you draw the line between gossip and sharing requests and burdens of others? I have a hard time with this. I would love input.