Today, as I write this week’s thoughts on Taming the Tongue, an assorted group of scientist have successfully landed a spacecraft on a comet. This historic achievement that cost well over 1 billion dollars is part of an ongoing attempt to discover the origins of life. Some hope that contained within the elements gathered by this machine, will be clues to man’s origin. It has to be more than God speaking.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm. Psalm 33:8-9
To those that believe, the words of Jesus are more than just vibrations of air that produce sound. His words contain unborrowed life and limitless power.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Hebrews 11:3
Even those who opposed Jesus as He walked this earth as a man were in awe of the words He spoke. Relentlessly His enemies thought to entrap Him by His words. Just a slip of the tongue or one “inartful expression” was all they needed.
On one occasion the Pharisees and chief priests sent some officers to do their dirty work by seizing and placing Jesus into custody. The words of Jesus were making such a profound impact on the people that these jealous religious rulers would rather eliminate Him than see their influence lessened.
The officers, witnessing firsthand the power of His words along with sensing the mood of the people, returned empty handed to their leaders.
Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. John 7:45-46
Words are powerful. Words have started wars and words have brought peace. Words have inspired generations with hope for a better life. Words of love and compassion have lifted the downtrodden and disenfranchised. Words are powerful.
But just as a power for good, words are also a power for evil. Inappropriate words have set in motion events that have proved the ruin for many. Not just vile words, but words of dishonesty, faultfinding and criticism have brought grief and sadness to untold numbers.
James strikes with force at this problem. He presents the absurdity of an evil tongue in the mouth of a believer.
With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. James 3:9-10
Our words are in indication of the change or lack of change that we have experienced as Disciples of Christ. It’s by our words that we reveal what is going on inside of our hearts.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45
The taming of the tongue by changing the thoughts is the fruit of the new heart promised to all who will accept it and there is a recipe given to man to aid in this endeavor.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Here are a few Hit the Mark questions for this week’s lesson discussion:
- What does the “controlling your tongue” mean to you?
- Is a simple solution to controlling the tongue simply talking less? Why yes or no?
- As long as I am telling what I think is the truth about others, I should be free to say it (or write it) even if it is something negative? Why yes or no?
- Jesus said in Matthew 12:36, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. What does “idle word” mean to you?
- What, if anything, is the difference between the speech of a Christian and one who is not?
- Is the following statement True, Mostly True, Somewhat True or Not True: The closer my relationship with Christ becomes, the purer my speech will become. Explain your answer.
We close this week with the wise words written in Colossians. It is a sign of the mature believer.
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6
Until next week, let’s all continue to Hit the Mark in Sabbath School!