A few nights ago my husband and I were in a disagreement, and I found myself becoming angry and raising my voice. I am usually the first one to say lower your voice, there is no need to yell, but this time I felt my heart racing and my blood boiling over, and I let it all out. It has been quite a while since I let my anger get a hold of me like that, and I had no intention of letting it continue on. We need to talk about this later. I couldn’t put a coherent thought together in the conversation for fear of further damaging him with my words. When emotions are running in overdrive, why is it so difficult to “tame our tongues”? I used to just blurt stuff out to get a reaction, or say something that I knew would definitely hurt him or anger him. Through God I have realized that I was only damaging my marriage and my intimate connection with my husband by saying such things to him. I hear the Holy Spirit say one simple phrase to me as my husband begins to go into a conversation that I know from the beginning will end bad, Tame your tongue Faith. That is all. No fancy wording, just simply don’t allow your mouth to say everything that it wants to. Basically, it may be in my head, but does it need to be said? This is something I have been working on since we started counseling, watching what I say and how I say it. It really is much more difficult to put this simple phrase into action, however I know it is possible.
I like to relate it to working out, training your body to do physical workouts that you are either not used to doing, or not used to doing as intensely. Say you were going to do push-ups for the first time in your life, and you barely squeeze out one, it’s because your muscles are weak and have never been put to use. Back to exercising discipline, the more you are disciplined in doing push ups each day, the easier it is because you are strengthening your muscles. Same with my mouth, for years I have not used this “muscle” of controlling what comes out of it. It just flows, good or bad, it flows. You can imagine the filth that came out of my mouth before choosing to exercise discipline in my choice of words.
If the Holy Spirit is telling me to tame my tongue EVERY time I am in an argument, maybe I am not doing right! (Just a hunch I have! 😉 ) For almost a month now I have been meditating on the book of James. I have read it and listened to it countless times because I need it to sink in and marinate in my brain. I need to be better prepared for every day, because I open my mouth, every single day. There is no getting around this one folks, James 1:22-26 says it very clearly “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” Wow! So I definitely have to work on that!
So if we think what we say “isn’t that bad” or “wasn’t that big of a deal”, we need to think again. The book of James has inspired me to exercise discipline in my words, and try harder to do what is right in God’s eyes. It really makes me think just how evil our mouths truly are. We can literally destroy people by what we say and that sure isn’t something to be proud of or happy about. Then after we have said all these hurtful words, or spread gossip, yes, we do it, we go to church and praise God. “But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” James 3:8-10. We need to be building each other up and encouraging each other with our words. I always think of Thumper from Bambi “if you can’t something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
It will take lots of work, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, in the heat of the moment, I can actually choose to exercise the closing feature on my mouth, and not let my heavenly Father down by what I say.