“Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing” (James 3:10).
The tongue is located only inches away from the brain, but it often sounds as if it were miles away. This saying is a little too true for comfort.
The things we say can be the biggest cause of unhappiness in our lives. With our words we can raise barriers, destroy trust and defame friends.
I know this, but I forget, and in the passion of the moment I say things which hurt people or share things which should not be told.
Or I communicate feelings which cannot really be understood by others. And words cannot easily be forgotten.
In the Bible, James the Apostle was aware of the hurts an uncontrolled tongue could inflict. He said this about it: “No man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8).
How does one control the tongue? How does one keep from hurting others?
I think there is only one way. We must keep our hearts pure. We cannot speak in anger if there is no anger in our hearts.
We cannot say bad things about others if there are no bad things about them hiding in our hearts; if we have truly forgiven those who hurt us. We can only control our tongues when we control our hearts and when we keep our thoughts pure. Then, there is no deadly poison which the restless tongue can use to hurt others.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2003 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.