by Pastor Tim Burt
One day I committed a pointless act I want to tell you about. Renee and I have a home office. In it we each have our computers, desks, and chairs. At that time, we had a cat. I don't know why but our cat loved my chair. Although there are two chairs in the office, she loved and always sat in mine. I wouldn't have cared except that I often wore a dark suit to work. As I walked into our office one day, there was our cat Cuddles sitting in my chair. I picked her up nicely and put her on the floor. I then sat down in my chair only to realize a short time later, that my suit was covered with cat hair. Feeling upset, I looked at the cat and firmly said, Cuddles, I don't want you sitting in my chair. I lectured her for about 30 seconds and then broke out laughing thinking, You are lecturing a cat. I pictured myself in one of those printed cartoons when someone is talking to their cat and all the cat hears is blah, blah, blah... My talk with my cat was pointless. It made me feel better for a moment but it was still pointless. It reminds me of people trying to communicate in ineffective ways that turn out to be pointless such as yelling and screaming at each other. They may as well be saying, blah, blah, blah...
Too often we participate in various kinds of pointless communication. That would happen less if we would consider our tongue to be one of the greatest God-given tools we have. He has given us our tongue as a tool to learn how to use skillfully. We are to learn how to communicate blessing to others, which will at the same time contribute to our success. Even correction can be spoken skillfully and in a way that can bless if we let the Holy Spirit teach us how. Proverbs 15:23 (NLT) says, "Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!"
James 3:8 NIV teaches us that "...no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." God is trying to get a truth through to us. That truth is; it's impossible to control our tongue without God's help. It only comes under control with the help of the Holy Spirit. The truth and revelation of Proverbs 18:21 NIV is this, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." God wants us to experience the love and blessing that comes from doing life His way. But, our tongue can steal that when we don't bridal it! Our tongue has the potential to sink our ship! They can be used skillfully to contribute to the well–being of others, or they can tear down the lives of others and ourselves. And so, we should hold on to a reverential fear of God of how important the words we speak are and how powerfully they affect our lives—good or bad!
We have to realize that our tongue spills over with whatever is presently in our heart. We are all too unaware of all that is in our hearts. How do we find out what's in there? We pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us hear our words. Then we just listen to what spills from our mouth—especially under pressure or in anger. The tongue is an extension of our thought life. In Matthew 12:34 NIV Jesus said, "...For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Out of discipline, the tongue can be forced or made to say proper things at the proper time, but, when you are by yourself or around those you feel most comfortable with, and let our guard down, that is when your tongue simply reflects what's in your heart and thought-life. Proverbs 12:6 NIV says, "The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them."
God wants us to succeed in how we communicate. Success starts with forming boundaries for the words you are going to speak in life. Ephesians 5:4 NLT says, "Dirty stories, profane conversation, and coarse jokes--these are not for you. Instead, remind each other of God's goodness, and be thankful." For this reason, He instructs in saying, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may impart grace to those who listen."
What does it mean, "...that it may impart grace to those who listen?" I'll let you know next time. In the meantime, listen to the words that come from your mouth—especially when your upset or under pressure. You'll discover you need help! Part Two next time...
Prov 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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