Wednesday, November 30, 2011
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
When some people get angry, the curse, others blame others. When some people get mad they run and hide or walk away. Others rant and rave and run their mouths and spill out a vomit of angry words. People react to anger or being upset in different ways. Some bottle it in until they explode, while others are set off by the slightest things.
I struggle with my tongue. What about you? I'm not talking about cursing, though some of you may struggle with that, even if you are a Christian or even in ministry. Some struggle with cussing when they become angry. Some don't struggle with cursing at all, it's part of their vocabulary and normal to them. They curse in front of their kids, in public, at work, it doesn't matter, and they don't even have to be angry. But, some do lose their temper and curse.
I don't struggle with cursing as much as I struggle with angry words. You don't need to curse to be mean, ugly, harmful, or cause pain. Growing up I was a people pleaser, but as I got older, especially into my adult life and the military, I left my people pleasing ways and began to speak up and speak out when I didn't like something, didn't approve, or had an opinion. I pride myself today on being very vocal, direct, and saying and meaning what I think.
Though I believe being blunt and direct is a good thing and people need to have more backbone and self-respect and speak up when it's appropriate, bring direct is just like anything else in life, if not done in balance it can be a negative. Some people say things and do not think about how it makes others feel, have no filter, and say things that can be mean and hurtful and out of place and yet they think they are doing the world a service. I unfortuneatly can fall under this category. There are times my emotions and feelings get out of balance and I say things I regret later, or spew things out of my mouth like hot lava and though it is not my intent to hurt feelings or upset people, it doesn't prevent it from happening.
The tongue is a hard thing to tame. Whether it's gossip, talking bad about others, complaining, being a foul mouth, or saying whatever you want when you feel like it or get mad. As James writes about a horse or a boat, such a small thing controls such a big animal or ship and the human tongue is the same way. The tongue is hard to tame.
I want to encourage you today that you are not alone. I too struggle with my big mouth. Even at appropriate times like yelling at the kids for bad behavior, or standing up for a worthy cause, or disagreeing over something important, we still must all learn to control the words that come out of our mouths.
Paul Reminds us in scripture (Eph 4:26) in our anger do not sin, implying we are going to get angry, but in that anger, we must not allow it to separate us from God.
Our mouths gets us in trouble alot don't they? At work? At home? With parents? With children? With Siblings? With spouses? With Churches? I don't know, but if you are constantly getting in trouble or having drama or issues because of your mouth, then work on changing the pattern. I can tell you from personal experience as soon as I think I am making progress or doing better, I slip. We must keep our focus on God and His Holy Spirit. He is our guide, our strength, our wisdom, and our overcomer!