Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tongue Control

Daily Gratitude Year 4- Day 200: Today, I am grateful for lessons in tongue control. 

Tongue control is hard. 

One of the things I continue to find convicting is taking care with the Lord's name. We are to guard it and not misuse it, and he guards those who keep His name safe. 

Knowing how he feels about the careless use of his name speaks to the intimacy of the relationship.  The closeness is apparent. 

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. Proverb 18:10

The thing that has amazed me over these past years of daily gratitude leading to more Bible study is the consistency between the Old Testament and the New Testament. God does not want us to misuse his name. He does not stutter on this matter. His directions are clear. It is a matter of respect and it teaches tongue control. How the world needs more tongue control. It spills over into other areas of life and relationship, too. It is worth reviewing.

Proverbs 18 is full of "tongue control" messages. In this day in age, if we had more tongue control...we might not be where we are with issues surrounding gun control.  Let's look at Proverbs 18:

Vs. 14-15 "A man's spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge."

Don't be a "spirit crusher". Beating down and crushing the spirit of another human is serious business in God's eyes. It is why I hate negative campaign adds and part of why good people avoid leadership positions. It is why encouragers are desperately needed in our lives. Here is my favorite part:

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge. It gathers it. The wise heart seeks it out. Gather vs. seek. Confession...this is a struggle.  I love to learn.  I seriously enjoy learning and love to share it. I don't ever mean to treat knowledge as a means of being superior to another. I simply love to learn and pass it on. I need to remember that wisdom is better than knowledge and every person in my life has much to teach me. I need to speak less, pray more for wisdom and listen more.  

Vs. 17 "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him."

Our justice system does have Biblical foundations. 

Vs 18 "A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle."

How true. Forgiveness within our own walls is the most difficult at times. We still need to forgive and love our neighbors... all of them. 

(Oh, dear...Earworm is awake and singing the children's song, "Red and yellow, black and white ALL are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.") Let us see more precious. 

Vs 21a "Death and life are in the power of the tongue,"

Let's move to the New Testament. Words are powerful. Jesus reiterated what the God told Moses making it even more clear:

"I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

This is one of the most articulate scriptures in the Bible. It does not say "Good people go to heaven." It says we have to answer for our words... not by our intentions. Yikes! Accountability.  

"If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.  Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.  So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness." James 3:3-6a

Today, I am grateful for lessons in tongue control. I need them frequently. 

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