Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Holding Our Tongues

Proverbs 10:19

Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.

Pic of Ray 11302014Are there folks in your life that talk too much? Are you one of those people? Some people hid their insecurities by talking – all the time. Some people – and we all know someone like this – seem to be an expert (not) on every subject and will run their mouth showing their ignorance (like Cliff on the TV series Cheers).  We all know people who speak before they think.

Proverbs says that sin is not overcome – ended – by multiplying words. It says that the prudent or wise thing – at times – is to hold our tongues. Holding our tongues can be hard for sure. Have you ever tried it – literally or figuratively?

Scripture is filled with passages that warn us about our tongues. One that I appreciate the most is found in the writings of our Lord’s own brother – James. At the start of the 3rd chapter comes a section in my Bible that is titled – Taming the Tongue – as if that were possible. James 3:1-12 – 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

I think many of us (mirror right in front of me) should learn to hold our typing (modern tongues) when it comes to giving opinions and comments on social media. How many times have we regretted posting something?  How many times have we hurt others by what we have posted – and didn’t mean to do so – but – didn’t think before posting?

In conversations – how many of us regret saying certain things or wonder where a comment came from as it is leaving our mouths? James had a lot to say on the subject. Earlier in his Epistle (letter) he wrote – James 1:19–20 – 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. We should all (mirrors up) take more time to listen and to be slower to speak or post.  Holding our tongues is not easy but something we are all called to practice.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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December 11, 2014 - Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , ,

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