Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tongue inspection time

Do you remember not feeling well as a child, and your Mother or the Doctor would say "Now, open up your mouth and stick out your tongue!!" Then you would be subjected to the careful prodding and examination of the condition of your tongue. Usually with a tongue depressor. Well even as a sickly looking tongue would indicate fever and physical illness, the words that come forth carelessly from our mouth at times also indicate just as surely the sick spiritual condition of our heart.

If we are uncertain of how well we are doing spiritually, all we need to do is carefully determine if the Holy Spirit has control of our tongue. (If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.) James says the tongue is of the highest importance . This because it is able to completely defile us.

The tongue can really only bring forth two things: it's not difficult to examine it's fruit. On the one hand, it is able to completely defile us and bring hurt and suffering to another, but on the other hand, it can be a source of blessing and encouragement - a tree of life to someone else.

Through the Holy Spirit we can gain control of our heart and tongue and our tongue can be a source of blessing to someone else. We can be cautious and careful with our words. We will always need to deeply rely on the Holy Spirit to do this because James says no one can tame the tongue, "it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."

Have you noticed how the effect of words linger? Even as the hurt can persist for a very long time in a heart, so also can the effect of encouraging words and loving words. Their effect can linger and inspire someone for a lifetime. Remember the nursery rhyme, sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me? This isn't really true. We shouldn't teach this one to our children. We have all gotten burnt by the words of another and sometimes it's been a long time healing ..

Truly we shouldn't underestimate the power of this very small part of our bodies! Such a small part. But if it is out of control, our whole being is also out of control! So important is it ! God is greater than our tongue and only He can tame it !

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