We tend to talk a lot, but do we pay attention to what comes out of our mouths?
Psalms 39:1-4,9,12: “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.“
In this passage shown in the verses, this psalms indicates King David’s frailty and his sinful condition as a human. Everything that he speaks would be a sin in the eyes of the Lord because that’s how wicked he is despite how badly he wants God to answer his prayer.
This reminds Christians to watch our tongue and the way we speak. We may often overlook and ignore what we say until someone else points it out. We may often come across as offensive, defensive, and braggy with the statements that we make. This is part of our sinful nature. Without conviction and constant self-examination, it is very easy for us to slip off.
A Cursing Tongue
Psalm 109:17: “As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.”
If we constantly take delight in cursing, at one point, it just becomes a habit to us. Subsequently, this habit may come to bite us. God holds us accountable for each word that we say, we will have to face His condemnation at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Not only we need to watch our tongue, we need to watch out for the cussing of the church members as well, and to help remind them to stay away from cussing.
Cussing does not always have to be out of the mouth, it can also come in the mind. Word replacements which has pronunciation close to the curse words are just as bad.
Swearing is also not allowed as it is close to cursing and cussing. The book of Matthew says that we should not swear on heaven or on earth. If by any chance slips of tongue happen, we should plead for the blood of Jesus Christ to forgive us.
A Criticizing Tongue
Romans 14:4: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”
This also happens with Bible believers. When we think that we are so informed about the Bible, we tend to point out the wretchedness in others a lot, to the extent we become critical and judgmental towards people around us.
Romans 14 talks about not judging other Christians as we are all servants of the one true God. Even though it is important for a Church leader to be criticizing and rebuking its members’ sins, we are taught to have a balance in understanding the rationale behind their actions, and have empathy towards the problems they are facing. We should not be so critical that our mind and behavior leads to an absurd accusation.
A Contending Tongue
Proverbs 13:10: “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well-advised is wisdom.”
As Bible believers, we are to contend with the world’s wickedness. We cannot simply agree with the standards of the world. Nonetheless, our contention should not be pride-driven. It is not about pinpointing how wrong others are and how right we are. Rather it is to scrutinize if the situation is conflicting with the Bible.
If our contention comes only after comparing what’s going on in the world with the scripture, then it justifies that we are walking right with the Lord. We need to humble ourselves by thinking if there’s anything that we can do more correctly and constantly strive for improvement.
A Carnal Tongue
Matthew 15:18: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”
1 John 2:15: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
These two verses state that whatever we truly desire in our mouth will be reflected in our words, in what we say. If the focus of our conversations revolves around the world, it shows what we are naturally inclined to.
A Conceited Tongue
Psalm 12:3: “The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:”
Luke 14:11: “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
This point reminds us of humility. Our egocentric personality will affect how others perceive us and ultimately ruin our testimony. Not only that, God will put us through afflictions if we do not watch out for our conceited behavior. Even being boastful about our spiritual accomplishments is deemed unrighteous in God’s eyes.
A Crooked Tongue
Proverbs 26:28: “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.”
The problem with a lying tongue and a flattering tongue is that it is crooked. We should be careful when others try to flatter us, we should not confuse that with a compliment, as an evil intention may sometimes accompany the former.
Our crooked tongue may lead us to be deceptive and manipulative, and God promises ruin in flattery because He despises such behavior.
A Careless Tongue
Proverbs 15:2: “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”
Ephesians 5:4: “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”
We should not just talk out of convenience, as it will lead to trouble. We do not want our conversation to sound foolish, especially to the people that we are witnessing. If they form a bad reputation towards our behavior, that will ruin our testimony for sure.
Being honest is good, but not to the extent that we do not develop a filter and foolishly confess every sin we commit even to church members is unnecessary. That should our individual dealing with God.
A Crafty Tongue
Romans 3:12-13: “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:”
Satan is known to have that crafty tongue that deceives people, and we all have it too. It is shown in our ability to always look for excuses when troubles arise. We tend to lie to talk ourselves out of a bad situation, and the more we do that, the more we become convinced even with our own lies.
This also encourages us not to put ourselves in a victim’s shoes and wallow in our own pity party when afflicted. The more we think that way, the more we become weakened. Instead, we should trust that we can do all things through Christ.
A Crying Tongue
Psalm 139:17-18: “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”
There is more to thank our Lord if we genuinely count our blessings because God has been so gracious to us despite our ungrateful attitude. Instead of praising the Lord, many of us tend to become entitled and develop a crying tongue.
We should learn to replace our crying tongue with a praising tongue and simply be thankful for all the blessings from God. That will eliminate our defeatist attitude and negative perspective about life.
A Concerning Tongue
This is a good point to remind us not to say things that become a concern to the hearer.
Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
As Bible believers, especially after coming to the knowledge given by God, we should shed light on others, and using the word of God to glorify Him by edifying others, which is the complete opposite of having a concerning tongue.
The best way to know if we have a concerning tongue is to examine if our words make others feel uncomfortable. We may perceive what we say as a blessing to others, but that’s not the reality.
The only exception is a spiritual or biblical reference, which justifies the things we say to others. Nonetheless, we should also be wary of the way we say it, and be sensitive towards other people’s reaction, and most importantly, the reaction of our Heavenly Father,