The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Let the Words of my Mouth…Be Acceptable in Your Sight

Posted by israeliteindeed on November 28, 2009

(All Scriptures in the NKJV version)

It is absolutely imperative that the Christian “bridle” his tongue:

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. (James 1:26)
He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. (Prov. 13:3)
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. (Prov. 21:23)

If a Christian maintains integrity in all other areas, yet allows his tongue free reign, his religion is worthless. He is self-deceived. He thinks he can praise God and curse men at the same time. He thinks he can walk in the flesh and walk in the Spirit at the same time. How small the tongue is, yet how much damage it can do if unbridled even a short time!

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.

Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 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 so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. (James 3: 2-12)

The fruit of our lips gives evidence of the true condition of our hearts. Jesus said,

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. (Matt. 12:34-35)

Knowing this, let us examine what is in our hearts. Curses, slanders, and coarse jestings (Eph. 5:4) do not just slip out of the mouth; they slip out of a heart that has made a home for them! Perhaps for this reason, David linked his words with the meditations of his heart:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (Ps. 19:14)

What are we meditating on in the secret places of our hearts?

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Phil. 4:8)

Jesus said that EVERY “idle word” will all be accounted for!

But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matt. 12:36-37)

Knowing this, let us be careful to not speak hastily or presumptuously:

Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Prov. 29:20)
He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him. (Prov. 18:13)
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (Ps. 19:13-14)

Let us not be talebearers, slanderers, or liars:

Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. (Prov. 26:20)
Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. (Prov. 10:18)
Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. (Eph. 4:25)
He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. (I Pet. 3:10)

Let us also not speak rudely or harshly:

Love…does not behave rudely…(I Cor. 13:4-5)
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. (Prov. 31:26)
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Prov. 15:1)

Let us not be given to “too many words”:

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. (Prov. 10:19)
He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. (Prov. 17:27-28)
Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few. (Eccl. 5:2)

Control of the tongue is especially important when we correct those who oppose God:

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (2 Tim. 2: 24-26)

David said:

I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me. (Ps. 39:1)

While “no man can tame the tongue” (James 3:8), Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). A fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control. It is by His Spirit that the Christian can “put to death” the evil deeds of the restless tongue:

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Rom. 8:13-14)

A Spirit-controlled tongue brings glory to God and blessing to others!

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life… (Prov. 15:4)
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver… (Prov. 10:20)
A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is! (Prov. 15:23)
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear. (Prov. 25:11-12)
The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. (Ps. 37:30)

May God help us to submit our tongues to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, for we can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength!

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