The Power of Words – Taming the Tongue to Speak Life

“For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” Wait, what? Yes, Jesus speaks this staggering truth in Matthew 12:34 – the mouth is going to automatically say what we have in our hearts. In fact, if we truly want to tame our tongues and train them to speak life, we have to guard our hearts. How do we control our tongues to guide our hearts? We need to control all we see and hear, all the junk saturating our souls on a daily basis. 

“Garbage in, garbage out” was a popular principle in the early days of computing and it still holds true. It is essentially what Jesus says in Matthew 12:35, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” A great starting point for taming our tongue is with the prayer found in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me” because guarding our hearts can only be done successfully with God’s help. 

The next step requires us to gauge our tongues, as Paul instructs in Colossians 3:8, “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” It requires us to determine we aren’t going to say the things we used to say or use the bad language we used to use. How can we manage that? Again, we should turn to God for His help, praying Psalm 141:3, “Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips” to keep us from crossing the line with our words. Lastly, we are instructed to garnish our speech in Ephesians 4:29, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” 

Father as we go through this week, may we each guard our hearts, gauge our words, and garnish our speech – taming our tongues so we can speak life, blessing and encouraging others. In addition, help us to discern the times we should say nothing at all as well as the times we need to speak good words and build others up or encounter the presence of God.


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