“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29 NKJV).
The human tongue is naturally a fire, a world of iniquity, evil, corrupt, boastful, unruly, and full of deadly poison (Jam. 3:6-8). Though the tongue is a little member of the body, yet it wields great power and influence over the whole body.
If your tongue is left unchecked, untamed or unbridled; it will defile you, render your faith worthless, bring condemnation upon you, and may eventually send you to hell fire (Jam. 1:26).
It is therefore vitally necessary for you as a believer to constantly bring your tongue under check or control.
The Lord Jesus sternly warns us about the danger of not bridling our tongues.
36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (NKJV).
There is absolutely no natural man, or any earthly wisdom, or any human discipline that can effectively tame or bridle the tongue.
As discussed in the first part of this piece, as a result of the fall of man, the tongue has become inherently or naturally sinful, evil, wild, unholy, and unruly (Rom. 3:10-18).
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.
8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (NKJV).
The divine wisdom and power to bridle your tongue and put it to good use and to God’s glory is only available in Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is only a new man or creation in Christ who has the divine potential to tame his tongue (2 Cor. 5:17, 2 Pet. 1:2-4).
Until you are free from the dominion of sin through faith in Jesus Christ, all your human efforts to control your tongue are just exercises in futility, failure and frustration.
Because the Scripture states, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (Jam. 3:8 NKJV)!
How then can the new creations in Christ bridle their tongues?
Your tongue and your heart are closely linked together (Psa. 45:1). Your tongue is an offshoot or branch of your heart which bears the fruits of your heart and gives a verbal expression to the thoughts or imaginations of your mind.
It is the nature or content of the heart that defines and influences the tongue. If the heart is good, the tongue also will be good; but if the heart is evil, the tongue also will be evil.
The Lord Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 NKJV).
At the new or spiritual birth, you received a new heart (Eze. 36:26, Heb. 10:16). However, it is your responsibility to guard your new heart with all diligence and fill your mind constantly with “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…” (Philip. 4:8 NKJV).
It is the Word of God in your heart and mind that sanctifies and rules your tongue, so that “no corrupt word proceeds out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Eph. 4:29 NKJV).
The wisdom and power of God to bridle, tame or control your tongue is available in Christ Jesus, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
Therefore, if you begin to prayerfully and constantly imbibe or treasure God’s words in your heart and mind, your speech will “always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Col. 4:6 NKJV).
Many believers today seem to be unable to bridle, tame or control their tongues because they are slothful in imbibing the truths of God’s Word and thus their minds are not being sanctified, ruled and controlled by God’s Word (Psa. 119:11, 37:31, 40:8, Deut. 6:6).
Paul admonishes, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col. 3:16 NKJV).
If the word of Christ dwells richly in you through a prayerful and diligent reading, hearing, studying, memorizing, meditating in, and confessing God’s word; your tongue will be a wholesome tongue.
Moreover, as a believer, you are expected to consciously and constantly present your tongue as an instrument of righteousness to God.
Paul admonishes, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Rom. 6:13 NKJV).
You are God’s precious possession bought by the precious blood of Christ!
Paul testifies, “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Rom. 14:8 NKJV).
Your body is the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you (1 Cor. 3:16-17). You must therefore always yield your whole body, especially your tongue, to the Holy Spirit.
Beloved, although you are now born again and thus a new man in Christ, yet the old man (Mr. Flesh) will always still seek to use your tongue as in times past when you were his slave.
If you allow the old man to use or control your tongue; he will use it for filthiness, cursing, abusing, lying, slandering, gossiping, foolish talking, or coarse jesting.
However, in Christ, you have the right and power to say “NO” continually to the old man or flesh whenever it seeks to employ, utilize or hire your tongue for its evil purposes.
Paul warns, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16 NKJV).
Friend, you must be firm, resolute, bold, and persistent in denying the old man the use of your tongue or any member of your body.
Anytime the old man (Mr. Flesh) asks or pleads to hire and use your tongue for his selfish and evil purposes, your response must always be, “God forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:2 KJV).
Prayer: My Dear Holy Spirit, from this day henceforth, I present and surrender my tongue for your use only. Let my speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, edifying, and imparting grace and strength to the hearers, in Jesus’ name. Amen.