If you’re anything like me, you’ve opened your mouth when you should’ve have, shared unwelcome opinions, and maybe said the right thing but in the wrong tone. I’d like to think that unless you’re a mute, you’ve said at least one hurtful thing in your life because I know I have. Even James says “we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.”(James 3:2) We see then that we have a problem. A cool thing about God is that he ALWAYS provides a solution.Proverbs tells us that “those who control their tongue will have a long life”, so that proves it’s possible. It’s possible to not just ‘watch what you say’, but to intentionally say only what is right and good. But how?
Before we get into a step-by-step instructional, let’s make clear that a personal relationship with Jesus isn’t accomplished by following some formula. He has given us the Word and that can be followed by every step taken towards him.
That being said, how to control your tongue, how to control your words, can be summed by this scripture: “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45b This is saying that what is in your spirit, the heart of you, is what is going to come out. Well, how do things get in your spirit?
Our being works like this: out to in, then in to out. When we are putting things in, first we perceive it with our senses: seeing, hearing, touching, etc. Then, our brain processes it, i.e. we think about it, and we either accept it or reject it. Accepting it means you believe it and keep thinking about it, it’s in. Rejecting it means you consciously stop the thought, don’t believe it, and don’t allow it to continue. Yes! You CAN control your thoughts!
You decide what goes in your spirit by what you think on. Do you ever realize how you start talking a lot about a subject that you’ve been really focused on? If you start dating someone, your friends don’t hear about anything but this new person. Or if you are stressed at work and vent everyday to anyone who will listen. It’s because that is all you think about.
Jesus said that he is truth and Satan is a liar and the father of lies. If you don’t believe him you belong to Satan for you aren’t believing the truth (John 8:44). Now, that seems pretty intense, but Jesus didn’t play. He wanted it to be clear that those who belong to God believe the truth. I think it would be safe to say that in order to believe something you must know it, therefore you must know the truth. Knowing Jesus is knowing truth. Knowing Jesus is knowing the Word for he is the Word (John 1:14).
Know the Word. Read your Bible, quote you Bible. The more you see it, the more you hear it, the more you can think about it. You see the Word, you hear the Word- that’s phase 1- perceiving with your senses.
Memorize your Bible, study your Bible,. That gets you thinking on the Word – it’s in your mind, phase 2. Accept it and keep thinkingabout it for a renewed mind (Rom. 12:2), filled with the Word, becomes the bread of Life which feeds your spirit. A spirit fed on the bread of life (which is Jesus, which is truth, which is the Word) will never go hungry (John 6:35). The truth is now in your spirit, but it’s not meant to stay there.
The coming out still has to take place. You’re mind is going to think about lots of things. But if the Word is what it’s getting the most of, that will be the abundance that flows out. One thing to remember is that nothing is automatic. It’s all a choice. You choose to control your thoughts and you choose to control your words. With putting in the Word, you now have the strength to make the right choices. In short, controlling the tongue is a choice that we only have the strength to make when we are filled with Jesus.
Remember:“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21