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.
When my kids were young, there were lots of things that they said and did that I did not approve of and wanted to put a stop to. But when my goal was simply to make the annoying behaviour stop, my very wise husband would often remind me that our real end goal was to train our children’s hearts, not simply to control their behaviour.
These Bible verses in the book of James speak to this concept – that simply trying to control our own tongues is not the real end goal, and essentially not even possible unless we allow our hearts to be trained by God.
Matthew 12:34 tells us that “… the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” So if we find that unhelpful, self-centred, unloving words are coming out of our mouths, we’d best examine our hearts to uncover our deeper motivations rather than merely try to control our tongues.
Asking the Holy Spirit to reveal your deepest, darkest motivations of the heart is a scary and brave process for most of us, but also a very rewarding one.
I am learning to allow God the to opportunity to show me His love and acceptance in the middle of my faults and failings is powerful and liberating.
I am more deeply selfish and sinful than I ever dared imagine and more deeply loved by God than I ever dared hope for. Thank you, Jesus!
Written by Shelley Witt