Read James 1:26
I’ve not always been able to bridle my tongue. There was a time in my life where my mental filter was nonexistent. I am a deeply emotional person and that showed in my teen years. I am very much an open book and, when that seal was even slightly opened in the past, all would come spewing out. Something else that I’m not too fond of is my short fuse. With my non-existent filter in the past, I hurt a lot of people. I was such an angry person that, when I was set off, it was scorched earth. While I would comically call it “verbal jousting,” I would often cross lines and make people feel bad about themselves. I was under the opinion that, if someone said or did something that I didn’t agree with, they needed to know that I thought they were wrong and needed to change. Something my dad told me, which took a while to stick, was that, just because something can be said, doesn’t mean that it should.
I think that this is all too common in our world today and even in the church. Many people struggle with a mental filter and a way-too-eager tongue to the point that their language could be described as “unbridled”. Take the time to scroll through Facebook and you will often see less than filtered opinions and “verbal jousts”. Even if it’s a struggle, as followers of Christ, our tongue should be bridled or tamed. We should be building people up rather than tearing them down.
The first chapter of James (verse 26) even goes so far as to say that, if you consider yourself to be religious but can’t keep control of your tongue, you are only deceiving yourself and your “religion” is worthless. If you claim to be a “Christian” or to follow Christ but can’t control your words, the “religion” that you claim for yourself has no worth.
That’s a tough pill to swallow.
There are many people who I know that claim to follow Christ but can’t seem to control their tongue. Most of these people know better but, for some reason, think that it’s okay to say whatever they want whenever they want. What example are they giving to non-believers? What example are they giving to believers who hear the words that they say?
While none of us is perfect, we should all strive to control our tongue. What are some steps that you can take to better control what you say? Maybe your next step was similar to mine; maybe you need to begin to put a mental filter in place. There have been many a time where my filter has kicked in and I feel so much better that, not only did I honor God by not saying anything, but I didn’t hurt the person who I deemed “in the wrong”.
As believers, our words should be filled with grace but seasoned with salt. Just because something can be said doesn’t mean it should.
Will you commit to honor the Lord through your words today?