Proverbs 15:4 says, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” As Christians we must bring our body under submission. The apostle Paul said, “I discipline my body and keep it under control.” We must do this with our hands, to the point of cutting them off if they cause us to sin. We must do this with our eyes, to the point of plucking them out if they cause us to sin. But the tongue is so unruly, that James says if you tame the tongue, then you are also able to keep the whole body in check. There is no shortage of ways to sin with the tongue. Do you gossip behind a person’s back? Do you talk down to people? Do you exalt yourself? Do you mutter under your breath? Do you keep your mouth open when you should be shutting it? Do you use it to revile the President of the United States? Ephesians 4 talks about coarse jesting; do you use it for that? All of these things break the spirit within a person. Listening to someone brag is not fruitful, and it’s certainly not fun to find out something that was said behind your back. So how do we combat this? A gentle tongue implies a tame tongue. There’s a wild beast in your mouth and it must be bridled. If you can focus on any part of yourself for spiritual growth, focus on your tongue. And if you can do that, then you’ll be in a position to build your brother up rather than tear him down.
Daniel Namahoe – October 29, 2023