Lord, Tame My Tongue
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
I used to be reckless.
After years of being bullied in middle school for my height, looks, and high-pitched voice, I learned that my greatest weapon was my voice. I could stab with sarcasm and punch with passive-aggressiveness. Left on my own devices, I could cause more damage with just a few words than most could cause with a fistfight. I had become so good at being clever, and before long I was no longer fun to bully. Unfortunately, my quick tongue didn’t end on the school playground. So much so that out of a class of 700 hundred high school seniors, I didn't earn the title of most likely to succeed or class president, but the wittiest. If you had a joke, I had a ruthless response that could make your grandma cry! I carried this witty humor into the marketplace, my marriage, motherhood, and ministry. Without my tongue being tamed, I caused many tears and hurt others for a good laugh. I had become the bully and torturer through the power of my words.
The Bible speaks of the damage the tongue can cause.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
There is simply no way around it. We can use our tongues to build, or we can use them to curse. We can use them to discourage or encourage. Our mouths can bring speak wells of truth or torment. In James, the effect of the tongue is described as a spark that can create a wildfire. If we aren’t careful, one poor choice of words, can lead to many more, and leave many damaged. We see this so often with gossip, slander, belittling others, and bullying.
I believe, as Christians, failure to properly use our tongue is a grave sin. When we purposely sow discord, making hurtful remarks, or choose to glory in having “no filter”, this is the opposite of the love God has called us to walk in. Yet, walking in love is the mark of a Christian. Jesus said it like this, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35. I can admit that during my time of being reckless with my words, I was no longer showing love. Even more so, it would be fair to say my tongue didn’t reflect the heart of the God I served.
Today, the Lord wants to challenge us to use words to encourage, uplift, restore, applaud, appreciate, and honor one another. Our tongues can bring life and help remind people of how good God really is. May we never get so overwhelmed, irritated or angry that we forget the power of using our words to bring hope and healing.
Lord, I ask that you forgive me for every time I have dishonored you and those you have created with my words. God, I ask that you alert me when I am being hurtful. Show me how to use my mouth to bless and not curse. Teach me how to love people well and help them to know who you are. May my mouth be filled with testimonies, grace, and compassion. I thank you for your patience with me and ask that you would give me wisdom on when to speak and when to be silent. I thank you for your mercy toward me in this area. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of seven, military spouse, recording artist, Psychology professor and pastor’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released her book, The Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Living A Victorious Life. Her ultimate desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning.
Portions of the above devotional were originally published on iBelieve.com