“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless” (James 1:26).
There is no shortage of scripture dealing with what we say, and these warnings are directed largely at believers. “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless” (James 1:26). James goes on to liken the tongue to a fire and a world of iniquity (3:6). Gossip, boasting, falsehood, idleness, slander, cruelty, and depravity are all examples of evil that scripture warns is spread by the human tongue.
People come and take, and then they leave. Will their thirst ever be quenched? Will their appetite ever be satisfied? Demanding and quarrelsome, there seems to be no pleasing them. Each generation following in the cursed footsteps of the one that came before. There are no signs for those who refuse to see even what is plain to see. No one is without guilt, certainly not me. All that is hidden will be revealed. Creation is groaning. Many have grown sanctimonious and prideful, while justifying all manners of wickedness. They abuse the authority given to them from heaven to further their own agendas at the expense of others. They herald their works for all to see, and thereby receive their reward in full on earth. They manipulate the weak for their own benefit. They pass judgment, with no regard to their own mounting guilt. They have grown complacent in their shame. “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36).
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17). The reason we as believers should avoid godless chatter is simple. Those who indulge will multiply in ungodliness (2 Timothy 2:16), and as with a little yeast working its way through the entire loaf, their ungodliness works its way through the entire Body of Christ (17). What we say matters a lot to God, and the fruits of discernment are with the one who recognizes and applies the time to tear, the time to mend, the time to be silent, and the time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:7). What comes out of the mouth gives testimony to the heart (Mark 7:20-22); therefore, let us endeavor to keep a tight rein on our tongues.
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