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Today’s Truth

LORD, help me control my tongue; help me be careful about what I say.

Psalm 141:3

Friend to Friend

Our son and daughter-in-law and their four children recently moved to Kansas City and are living with us until they find a house. The conversation around the dinner table each night is always quite animated as Lelia and Jaydan, the nine-year-old twins, give a play-by-play account of their day at school.

During the middle of dinner last night, a rare moment of silence occurred. It did not last long. Lelia looked at me and said, “Mimi, do you know what the strongest muscle in the human body is?” I stopped to think about the question before offering several answers that Lelia quickly dismissed as wrong. “I give up!” I said. With her blue eyes twinkling and a big grin on her face, Lelia said, “It’s the tongue!”

Okay. I had to do a little research. The correct answer to Lelia’s question all depends on how you define strength. And the tongue is not really one muscle, but a conglomeration of eight different muscles.

When it comes to versatility, the tongue is indeed powerful. Its combination of elasticity and forcefulness gives us the ability to speak, eat, sip, swallow … the list is quite impressive.

According to Scripture, the tongue may very well be the strongest muscle in the body. In fact, God has a lot to say about the power of the tongue and the words we speak. Words are power tools that, in the right hands and used correctly, can build and encourage. In the wrong hands and used incorrectly, words can destroy and defeat.

Unless strained through discipline and holiness, words can impart false perspectives and untruths. But the right word, spoken at the right time and in the right way can bring order in the midst of confusion, light on a very dark path, and wisdom for questions that seem to have no answers.

I believe God gives us spiritual radar so we can assess a situation and speak the right word for that circumstance. In fact, Paul writes, “Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone” (Colossians 4:6). We just need to check the radar screen before we speak.

Solomon also offers great wisdom concerning the use of words, “Whoever controls his mouth protects his own life. Whoever has a big mouth comes to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3, GWT). In other words, if we do not learn to use and control our tongue, it will use and control us.

Psalm 34:13 offers a very clear directive to “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” The word “keep” indicates an action on our part. We decide. We choose the words we speak. That means we must guard our hearts and our minds.

We choose what is allowed to take up room in our mind. It is literally the idea of a guard standing at the gate of the city, stationed there to keep watch. He is there by invitation only. If we want to live right and speak right – we must think right.

Godly responses come from the heart. If there is something wrong with our words, then there is something wrong with our heart. The truth of Proverbs 16:23 is profound in its simplicity, “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth.”

A judge utters a few words and a guilty man is taken to death row.

A friend speaks a word of encouragement and a desperate heart finds hope.

A mother lashes out with angry words and the light in her child’s eyes is gone.

A wife offers a word of forgiveness and a marriage is restored.

A gossip makes a phone call and a reputation is destroyed.

A teenager says “no” and changes the course of her life.

Yes, the tongue is strong and powerful as are the words we speak. Let’s choose today to speak words of life.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to please You and encourage others with the words I speak. Clean my heart, God. Transform my mind, and fill my mouth with words that honor and please You.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Examine the words you have spoken today in light of the following verse:

Psalm 19:14 ”May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

How did you do? I encourage you to memorize this verse and ask God to let it take root in your heart and work its way out in the words you speak.

More from the Girlfriends

Learning to control our tongue and carefully choose the words we speak is a powerful spiritual discipline. Explore more steps you can take to become a powerful woman of God in Mary’s message, Divine Surprises: 7 Habits of a Successful Woman.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website. Connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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5 Responses to “The Power of the Tongue”

  1. Girlfriendsingod.com says:

    God’s word is rich and powerful great way to start the day thank you and God bless!

  2. Debbie says:

    Hi, love these words. My mouth can get away from me a lot. I especially needed this now because I have a friend who causes grief and I need to keep quiet and take it to the Lord in prayer.

    For future readers, two of your Scripture references are incorrect. It is Psalm 34:13 and Psalm 19:14. I tell you this to help and not criticize. I LOVE GIF and all you ladies have taught me. God has given you all a precious gift of teaching and writing. I praise Him for each of you.

  3. Desarae says:

    I am so ashamed to admit this and its something I need to do better at working on as I am a mother now of a 1 year old where his ears are that of a sponge these days and so sensitive. I am not putting the blame on anyone else as this is so true we decide and control our tongue, however, I did grow up in a home where cursing was a constant- its something that I did a lot throughout highschool and college and now I feel like it controls me. I need to find ways to stop and catch myself this is something I am going to look into as I don’t like that I do it.

  4. We all need to watch our mouths, don’t we?

  5. LeAnn Hileman says:

    Yes, some of the worst damage I have done has been with my tongue and as females I believe we are really good at that. What I have to watch for is justifying saying something I shouldn’t by the rationalization that what I have to say is honest. Well, being honest is not always timely or correct in the circumstance, not to mention kind.

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