by Pastor Tim Burt
If you have ever had a leak in your roof, one thing you've learned through the process is that water and gravity work together to find openings where that water can leak through. If there is a crack, water will find its way. This is also true with words.
They just find a way to come out. We’ve all experienced times where words that should never have been spoken managed to somehow find their way to our tongue and slip out - usually to our regret! It may have taken the form of complaining or whining, or anger or yelling, or gossip or backbiting, but whatever, like a water leak, it found its way out. That is why James 3:8-11 instructs us with a profound truth, "… no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"
The tongue, or the words that come from our mouth, are simply the outward expression of what is in our heart. We all know that not everything in our heart is good. Jer. 17:9 describes the heart without Jesus. It says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" This is even truer before we became born again and gave our lives to Jesus. Once we gave our life to Him, then the Holy Spirit took residence with us and began the process of purifying our heart. We need the Lord to purify our heart but that is a life-long process and the words we speak are the proof of it. They expose too often the negatives that have not been purged that are still embarrassingly in our hearts.
Rain is the primary source of roof leaks. A dissatisfied heart from selfish desires is the primary source of the negative words that leak from our mouth. The Bible teaches us that evil behavior primarily comes from selfish desire, ambition, and jealousy over what others have, and the ongoing fear of not being able to obtain what we want in life. James 3:13-16 says, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find strife in your relationships along with confusion and every imaginable evil that Satan can stir up through the open door of your wrong attitude and actions.”
Look at a teen that is trying to break out into his or her own selfish life; they often let themselves be influenced by people that don't know God's ways. They want to figure things out for themselves. They become self-focused and begin to debate and fight for their own way. They stop taking counsel and often begin to indulge in wrong thinking, speaking, and behavior. This is why it is important for families to be in strong churches that impart godly influence and instruction not just for teens, but at every age level.
Adults do that same thing. They become too busy to read and mediate upon the Word of God and pray. They also do life their way. They don't like it in their teen but don't see the same patterns in their own life. God’s touch, presence, and influence becomes lacking and over time, words become loose and sloppy, unimportant, unguarded, and become tools of destruction. God warns us of this saying, "He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." (Proverbs 13:3)
Our hearts need the constant touch and presence of God in many forms. Church, Bible study, reading and meditation, prayer, and fellowship with others that love God are a few. They are absolutely critical to a successful Christian walk. These atmospheres exhort and strengthen our perspective and help us stay focused on God’s sincere love and His promises to tangibly help us through life. And we need to pray and ask God in faith for help in every stressful and frustrating moment. Faith isn't a wish. It's faith that believes despite what it sees! Faith says, “God is with me and will help me. I just need to ask and believe.” It’s amazing how quickly this attitude can calm your heart and get you back on track. When you do that then this verse will become you and you will restrain words that destroy and instead speak words that give life! “A man that has God's understanding uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered." “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life…” (Prov 17:27, Prov 15:4 )
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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