I wish to encourage you to use your tongue for God’s glory.
The world exercises little restraint, if any, when using the tongue for speaking its mind. The media, entertainment, and the Internet, all serve to normalise swearing, crass humour, lying, anger, unforgiveness, and blaspheming God’s name. Sadly, many who claim to be ‘Christian’ speak with similar irresponsibility as the disbelieving world.
The fact is, mankind is uniquely created in the image of God and possesses enormous potential for glorifying Him. However, sin entered the human heart and unleashed death upon the human race along with the devastating potential for bringing dishonour to their creator. Consequently, the use of the human tongue changed. Now, “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God” (James 3:8-9).
A brother’s perspective
The apostle James, having grown up under his older and perfect brother Jesus, would have experienced the stark difference between what sometimes flowed off his own tongue compared to the faultless speech of Jesus. Therefore, James could rightly say, “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). We hear this daily, in the work place, in education, and even in families where love is meant to the guiding moral. As we all know, “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Our heart fuels the tongue, and usually without any filtration.
So, the problem isn’t so much the tongue, as the heart that drives the tongue. The apostle Paul instructs us believers; “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self.” He then immediately tells us how this is made possible, this new self “is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:9-10). The genuine believer is one who surrenders their life to God for the purpose of being changed from within, so that they reflect the character of God with ever increasing intensity (2Co 3:18). Our thinking must be changed in order for the heart to express the Lord’s beauty via the tongue (Rom 12:1-2).
The real need
King David pleaded for the Lord to; “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10). Repentant belief in Jesus Christ as Lord is how mankind can be born again spiritually (John 3). This spiritual regeneration of the human heart is carried out by God, placing the repentant sinner in Christ. This means that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This new life, energised by the Holy Spirit, is one where we use the tongue to “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Hebrews 13:15). It also means we “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
I encourage you today, if you have not done so already, hand yourself over to God. Repent of your sin that empowers you to live indifferent to the Lord. Believe with dependent faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Abandon the emptiness of self, and receive the gift of eternal life through trusting belief in Jesus Christ who died in your place on the Cross of Calvary for your sin. Then, you will be empowered to use your tongue for God’s glory.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz