Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall ear the fruit thereof.” 
James 1:26 “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart this man’s religion is vain.”

The Doctor often says to us, “Let me see your tongue.” He can tell a lot about your health by looking at it. In the same way, much can be said about the Health of a Christian by the thoughts of our tongue because the tongue speaks the thoughts of the Heart. (Matthew 12:34) In the Bible, God describes the tongue in at least eight different ways: three ways good and five ways very destructive. It is much easier to use the tongue in the wrong way than to use it in the right way.

The evil descriptions:
1. Razor Psalm 52:2
2. Fire James 3:6
3. Poison James 3:8
4. Sword Psalm 64:3
5. Arrow Jeremiah 9:8

The good descriptions:
1. Silver Proverbs 10:20
2. Health Proverbs 12:18
3. Tree of Life Proverbs 15:4

If you don’t already know, but your tongue is the most difficult thing in our life to control. If we could control it, we would be able to control every other thing in our life- James 3:2-12. But unfortunately, the Bible tell us that no one will ever tame the tongue. But with God’s help we can bridle it just as a bridle is used on a horse to guide him in the directions we want him to go.

I don’t want you to think that I have this topic of the tongue figured out. I don’t. This lesson came from my own personal experience. Recently, I made a mistake with my tongue and learned a huge lesson that I will probably take with me my whole life. I learn lessons the hard way. I am the type of person that I learn best when I make the mistake and I have to fix it. You know the times where you stick your foot in your mouth and have to get a plunger to pull it out. YES! That’s me. I want go into the whole experience but I learned a lesson that James 1:26 sums up. What that verse says, “IF ANY MAN AMONG YOU SEEM TO BE REILIGIOUS, AND BRIDLETH NOT HIS TONGUE, BUT DECEIVETH HIS OWN HEART THIS MAN’S REILIGION IS VAIN.”

The truth of the matter is we all TALK too much. In our day in age, we have so many devices that allow us to do wrong with our speech. We have text-messaging, email, cell phones, twitter, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, etc., that we need to be careful. We’ve created a culture that says if you have a thought, then you should immediately share it with the rest of the world. I can go on my Facebook right now and the first question that I am asked is “WHATS ON YOUR MIND”. NOW, that’s a loaded question! Some people take the question literally and they unload exactly what’s on their mind. With no thought about the hurt or pain that they can cause. We do the same thing with our tongue. We like our opinions and we share our opinions too quickly. We want to feel verified that our opinions are right and that it needs to be shared. But too often we have to back track and apologized or remove our opinions- Why- because we could not tame our tongue. Words have power to replay over and over in our minds. All of us are more strongly influenced by words than any other force.

IT’S A Battle! Battles are meant to be fault. To tame the tongue, we must recognize the tremendous magnitude of the battle that we face. When a man or woman enlists in the Military they don’t tell them that they want see combat. It’s a guarantee that sometime during your enlistment that you will see a battle. Same thing in the Christian Life- You will have to fight the devil every day for your Tongue’s sake. Its Battle!. But in order to face the battle, we must arm ourselves with the weapons that will help us. Why is this so important? Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

1. Death

When your heart stops beating is when you die, the tongue has the power for you to bring death to someone else. THINK ABOUT THAT! The words you use can cause death. A false witness can cause death of an innocent man (Proverbs 25:18) A slanderer can destroy the reputation of a good person (Psalm 56:2, I Corinthians 6:10) A Seductive woman can, by her tempting words ruin a man’s life ( Proverbs 23:27, 7:5 5;3) “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Proverbs 18:7-8

Death IN:

Lies
Gossip
Public Criticism
Yelling and screaming
Quick cutting comments
Cheap Shots
Talking without listening
Condemning Others
Mean-Spirited comments
Angry Out-burst
Harsh Words
Humor meant to Insult or to put someone down
ENDLESS CRITICISM

There are people with great potential, who never fulfill that potential because someone told them that they were worthless and useless. And those words continue to influence them for years. The world is full of words of death. Think of the Lifestyles we see today in our day. The movie stars, the musicians – they fill our tv screens and radios will words of Death to us. Why would we want to bring those type of words upon people we love or care about. When there is death on the inside, it will eventually show up in your words. What’s in the well will come up in the bucket.

The way we converse with one another is our advertisement. All of these can and will bring death into the lives of those that we say that we love. But for the ones that don’t know us, it want bring them to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Death!

2. Life – Good words give life.
Proverbs 15:23 “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth; and a word spoken in due season, how good is it”
Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life” 

Why do coaches give pep talks to their athletes? Because it brings LIFE into them. It Works! The words like: You can do it! You are the best! You’re a winner! It rings in the athlete’s ears that the score board might say that we are losing by 20 or 25 but my coach believes in me. It changes their desire to want to do better. They believe in themselves. I Can do this! I will do This! When you breath life into someone, you are life changer. Think about a time in your life when someone was life changer to you- all you needed was to hear a small word. It wasn’t much but it got you out of your wow-is-me attitude or helped you see the positive in a situation. Those words change your circumstances.

For a Christian, it would seem like we would want to choose Life over Death to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ but we don’t. We still hurt one another, cause problems in our families and churches for what- so we can look better in someone’s elses eye.

How do we Bridle our Tongue:

1. THINK
I say it a lot working with teenagers. But Think: Is what I want to say True? Is what I want to say Helpful? Am I the best one to say it? Is it necessary to it NOW? Is it KIND to this person and others? II Corinthians 10:5 says “ Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

If you bring yours thoughts into subjection before they come streaming out your mouth, you will have concurred the first step in taming the tongue.

2. Filter

I love this verse. I use it a lot for my daily life. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” AMEN!

Is what I am about to say TRUE. There goes lying. Is what I am about to say honest? There goes being false witness. Is what I am about to say just? Being Critical goes down the tube. If we just use the filter that God gave us think how much pain and hurt we save ourselves and others from.

3. The Hardest One… CONTROL.

Rely on God’s strength to help you. The Bible clearly says that no man can tame the tongue. There is a battle that rages between our flesh and the Spirit. I use the bugs bunny illustration a lot. The episode were he has the bad bunny on one shoulder and the good bunny on the other. The good bunny wins out but not after the bad bunny has his say. The same runs true in our life, when I allow the flesh Natasha run my mouth – I take a simple conversation into a heated argument that I caused someone pain and hurt my relationship. I had to repent and ask forgiveness. If I would have walked in the Spirit before the conversation, I would known that it wasn’t the right time, I wasn’t in the right Spirit, I wasn’t the right person to have the conversation. I would have saved myself and the other person a lot pain and hurt if I would have been walking in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit takes work. But the more we walk in the Spirit with anything that you are struggling with in your Christian life the more our heart get in tune with God’s Spirit daily. And we do this by reading his Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and having a prayer life.

Did you know that the average person speaks 16,000 words a day? That’s the equivalent of a 64 page book. In one week you speak the equivalent of a 450 page book. In a month, you speak 480,000 words, the equivalent of a book of 1920 pages. In one year, you speak 5,760,000 words. That is four volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Each day you speak a 64 page book….What would we learn about your vocabulary? Suppose someone recorded one day of your speech. Would you be ashamed? God’s recording. And there is no erase button in Heaven. Let’s be a Life changer in our Words.

Mrs. Natasha Davis | YP’s Wife

Clays Mill Baptist Church