James 3:3-12 – “Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.” NASB
Let’s continue in a discussion of “Taming of the Tongue”. The tongue is the last organ to be brought under subjection and when this is achieved, we have a beautiful evidence of the person being totally subject to Christ. It is an evidence that the thoughts are in captivity to the obedience of Christ. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:34, where He informed them that what fills the heart fills the mouth.
Proverbs 4:23 encourages saying, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” In Proverbs 10:11 we discover, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” Then, in Psalms 14:1 the incredible declaration, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
There are several Types of Tongues that need to be considered.
There is the Lying Tongue and of all the evils of speech, falsehood is central and incredibly dangerous and damaging. There is the Reviling Tongue which is scandalous and abusive. There is the Foul Tongue (Foul-Mouthed) which is a channel through which many impurities of the heart find expression. It is indecent speech. There is the Passionate Tongue which in quick anger, hate, and vitriol.
The Poet Horace said, “Anger is brief madness or insanity.” There is the Sarcastic Tongue. There is the Scolding Tongue. It is filled with constant reproofs and criticisms. Reproofs must be uttered from time to time, but sometimes they are issued too harshly and with too little patience and love.
There is the Flattering Tongue. This is one of the most objectionable to me because it is devoid of honest praise but is designed to gain and advantage or personal benefit. It is not sincere it is fraudulent and deceptive. Honest and hearty praise is valuable, but a flattery is never honest. It is false praise or praise directed not at the quality of our work but in an effort to please and gain brownie points.
There is the Chattering Tongue or one that talks too much. There is no forethought, no real purpose, no substance, just noise and therefore no benefit. The Psalmist prayed in Psalms 141:3, “Set a watch O God before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” This type of person has no door only a doorway. Then there is the Slandering Tongue and it spews forth evil continuously.
The Bible makes it clear that no man or woman can tame their tongue through willpower. It requires Divine Help. Proverbs 13:3 informs us, “The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” In Proverbs 21:23 we discover, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.” Then the powerful statement of James 1:26, “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.”
A sanctified tongue is a means to health, peace, and blessing from the LORD. I hesitate to not continue the discussion of the Tongue of the Righteous but will end this consideration with a question. “Do you need God’s help to tame and control your tongue?” God can and will bring full deliverance! It may seem cute and even funny but an ‘untamed tongue’ will open the fires of hell and rob you of spiritual victory. God wants to Tame our Tongues.
God bless you as you embark on this new venture in your Christian walk. Have a Great Day!