When you open your mouth, is it like a spring of fresh water ~ or a polluted mud hole? The words of our mouth are very powerful, and can build up or tear down. God used His mouth to create the world and everything in it, and said it was very good (Genesis 1:31, NKJV). Jesus said it is what comes from the heart, out of our mouths, that defiles us. (Matthew 15:18, NKJV) I was reading from James 3:1-12 this morning, and wanted to share what I found with you. It’s my prayer that when I open my mouth, good things will come out of it!
1. Our mouth sets the course of our lives. With it, we can do great things – or destroy our lives and others’. We should continually speak blessings over ourselves, our family, and others. James 3:4 (The Message) says, “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.”
2. Careless words are destructive. Often we don’t mean to hurt others with what we say, but we do. “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 in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.” (James 3:5-6, The Message)
We want our words to be as “apples of gold in pictures of silver.” encouraging and edifying others. (Proverbs 25:11, KJV; 1 Thessalonians 5:11, The Message) When we say things that we shouldn’t have, we should repent quickly and apologize to those who we hurt. Sincere apologies can help restore relationships, but once spoken, the words can never be taken back – so we should work on preventative measures daily!
3. It’s impossible to tame our tongues ourselves. We need God’s help to control our mouths! I don’t know about you, but my mouth has always been one of my biggest problems. I think Joyce Meyer must have written the book Me and My Big Mouth in dedication to me! http://www.amazon.com/Me-My-Big-Mouth-Answer/dp/0446691070.
James 3:7-10 says, “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!”
We aren’t able to control our tongues in our own strength, but God is. He’s the one who made our mouths. (Exodus 4:11) The power of His Spirit will give us a mouth of power, love, discipline, and self-control, to bless and encourage others. (2 Timothy 1:7, Amplified Bible)
4. Dedicate the mouth to God, and ask Him to sanctify it. Here is a passage in Isaiah 6:1-10 when the prophet Isaiah had a vision of the Lord:
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I had a vision of the LORD. He was on his throne high above, and his robe filled the temple. 2Flaming creatures with six wings each were flying over him. They covered their faces with two of their wings and their bodies with two more. They used the other two wings for flying, 3as they shouted, “Holy, holy, holy, LORD All-Powerful! The earth is filled with your glory.” 4As they shouted, the doorposts of the temple shook, and the temple was filled with smoke. 5Then I cried out, “I’m doomed! Everything I say is sinful, and so are the words of everyone around me. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD All-Powerful.” 6One of the flaming creatures flew over to me with a burning coal that it had taken from the altar with a pair of metal tongs. 7It touched my lips with the hot coal and said, “This has touched your lips. Your sins are forgiven, and you are no longer guilty.”
Ask the Lord to touch your lips, and let the words coming out of them to be like refreshing springs of water, rather than polluted waters (James 3:12, The Message). Then, when you open your mouth, it will be a blessing – to God, to you, and to others.