Tongue control


Joshua 6:10: But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.”

The ability to control what comes out of your mouth is described by James in his book as the hallmark of spiritual maturity (James 1:26). In the same vein, Paul admonished that we should allow only wholesome communication to come out of our mouth (Ephesians 14:29).

To be able to take over Jericho, Joshua, based on the requirement of God, told the children of Israel to keep their mouths shut for six days. They exercised a great degree of tongue control, showing that the ability to shut up your mouth, when necessary, is a virtue.

When provoked, you may be tempted to start railing on your opponent or accuser, to loose your cool and start saying what you could regret later on. However, it is written that even a fool, if he keeps silent can easily pass of as being wise. This means that no matter your claim of wisdom, if you are a talkative, your rating on the wisdom scale will be low, but even if you don’t have an iota of wise thought in you, keeping quite will make you  seem to be wise (Proverbs 17:28). The moral of it is that it is better to not talk at all than to not talk aright. Some are rash with their words, showing their folly; being long on promises but short on performance, which is the opposite of the nature of God that we are supposed to express.

Another thing we should guard against is qself-praise. The book of Proverbs says that let someone else praise you and not your own mouth (Proverbs 27:2). Don’t be so preoccupied with the sense of your own self-importance; that is pretty obnoxious. You can’t be full of yourself and be full of God at the same time.

Again, the book of proverbs talks about a contentious woman; you are better off not crossing her path. She can go on and on using words to castigate people around her, and her husband, if married, in particular (Proverbs 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15). When the bible says if be angry but sin not (Ephesians 4:26), you can easily achieve this if you shut up when angry. It is difficult to be seen as quarrelsome if what comes out of your mouth in the tone, tempo, volume and choice of words, do not communicate that fact.

Words can be spoken in a way to cause emotional harm or pain to the other person, just as they have caused you, disobeying the instruction of God to not revenge (Romans 12:19), but easily qualifying for the award of sword mouth, instead of having your words bring health to others.

To control your tongue is to control your emotions. Just as you don’t want to have your emotions running wild, you cannot afford to have you tongue running wild in gossip, abusive language, lies and exagerrations.

If you are talking about sanctification, that is, dedication to God,the indicator is your level of tongue control. James says he that does not err in words is a perfect man (James 3:2). If your words cannot be faulted, you life cannot be faulted. The purity you embrace that leaves out tongue control is vain, and deceptive.

It was David who prayed that God, let the words of my mouth be acceptable to you (Psalms 19:14); let that also be your prayer, since God’s help is needed to achieve tongue control.

Prophecy: let the purity of God be expressed through your mouth, it is light to the hearers and joy to heaven.

Question: how do you rate yourself in tongue control?

Prayer activity: Help me Lord to speak aright and to know when to not speak at all.

Tomorrow’s topic: Lean not on your own understanding.



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