An Instructed Tongue
The tongue is a very hard thing to tame. James calls it a fire, a world of evil that is set on fire by hell. He calls it a restless evil that is filled with deadly poison. (Jas. 3:6-8)
Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘restless’ as unable to relax, giving no rest, rarely quiet or still, or discontented. I don’t know about you, but just seeing that definition in light of how I use my tongue, I’m getting convicted already!
When we find that we are unable to relax our tongue, we will find ourselves being quick to speak. Yet, James tells us that we should be slow to speak. (Jas. 1:19)
When we have a discontented tongue, it’s hard to follow the admonition in Philippians to think upon the things which are lovely, true, just, pure, and excellent. We don’t allow ourselves time to shut up long enough to count our blessings. That discontented tongue just has so much to say!
Another thing that a discontented tongue can do is make us like the quarrelsome wife, who is like a constant dripping. (Pr. 19:13) We fall into the habit of nagging, whining, complaining, and/or disrespecting our husband because we have become discontent with our lot in life. No wonder Proverbs 21:19 tells us that a man is better off in the desert than living with a quarrelsome woman! At least in the desert, he might find some peace and quiet.
When our tongue gives us no rest, we miss out on intimate moments with the Lord. He may be calling us to find rest for our weary souls. (Mt. 11:28-30) In John 10, Jesus tells us that His sheep listen to His voice. If our tongue gives us no rest, how can we hear His still, small voice?
In Pr. 31:26-27 we see that ‘when’ the virtuous woman speaks, her words are kind, giving wise counsel and instruction. The word ‘when’ implies that she isn’t talking all of the time. She has learned to be silent at times. She also doesn’t eat the bread of idleness. Idleness is a dangerous trap because when we become idle in our bodies, our tongue usually doesn’t follow. Instead, it finds reason to gossip or even to wallow in self-pity because we are discontented. Those ultimately lead us to that place of having a restless tongue.
How do we stop this vicious cycle? It is certainly a hard one to break once we fall prey to it.
Is. 50:4 says that God has given me an instructed tongue so that I will know what to speak to the weary. He awakens me morning by morning, wakening my ear to listen to Him, like one who is being taught.
When we begin to honestly pray for God to give us an instructed tongue, we may find the resulting fruit:
1. Our kind words may cheer up someone. (Pr. 12:25)
2. Our lips will nourish many. (Pr. 10:21)
3. Our wise words will bring healing to others. (Pr. 12:18) In fact, our wise words may even bring healing to ourselves because we begin to speak the Word over our situation instead of speaking out of our fickle emotions.
4. Our words can become a fountain of life. (Pr. 10:11)
5. Wisdom will flow from us. (Pr. 10:13)
6. We will learn how to weigh our answers before we speak. (Pr. 15:28)
An instructed tongue…..I want it! How about you? Do you want it?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller