Ever regretted something that you have said?
I have heaps of times – it is a regrettable thing that the tongue can run away with us at times – maybe two people suddenly find themselves talking about a third – pretty common scenario? BUT…
One where we have been warned that we should be so careful – talking about another person no matter how, where or for whatever reason is gossip and…
Gossipping is a sin and a most insidious sin at that!
Anything that puts people down is a sin and should be rooted out of our lives and quickly before it can take a real firm foothold.
Philippians 2:3 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves”
That verse alone smacks gossipping clean on the head – whack! – no room for it – no place for it and God plainly says it is wrong with a capital “W”.
Talking about others happens so regularly by Christians it has just about become an art form – pre-empted by “I’m worried about” or disguised as a “Prayer request” – we need so desperately to control what we say, when we say it and learn desperately to “shut up” and say nothing.
James 2:2 says that we should speak and act as those who are going to be judged – they are pretty Strong words and we should all pay pretty strict attention to them.
We will be judged how we judge others – if we have a judgemental attitude to anyone God will hold us accountable for every so-called ‘slip of the tongue’ we make that puts others down.
Even Paul, warned Titus about ‘malicious gossips’ in the church! It is vitally important that we get a handle on this gossip thing – it destroys, spoils and undermines everything holy in our lives and we are all guilty of it!
In Chapter 3, James says a whole swag of things about ‘taming the tongue”.
He compares the tongue to a bit in a horses mouth, or a rudder on a ship even a spark that sets a huge forest on fire. He says it is so with the tongue – it is such a small part of our body but makes huge boasts and can cause even huger problems!!
James reckons also that the tongue is a fire, a world of evil that can corrupt a person and can change peoples lives – he even goes so far as to say that the tongue is set on fire by hell itself.
Pretty strong words but sadly how true.
James goes on in chapter three and explains that we can’t be both praising God and cursing or gossipping about our neighbours etc – we can’t have our feet in both camps – we can’t worship God and claim to be His but have no control over our tongue in what we say or how we say it.
Ephesian 4:29 screams out to us also about using unseemly words – not just swearing – but words that may have double meanings, even when we are trying to be funny!
If these words, phrases and innuendos in our conversation are not edifying to God then Paul says we must not use our mouths in this way – Only words that give glory to God should be used by His people. In that way Paul says we show God’s grace to other people.
In Chapter 5 James goes on to say we mustn’t use our tongues to grumble to each – or complain about things to each other – He goes one step further and says we will be judged by that standard of complaint – he says “The Judge is standing at the door”
Pretty chilling when you actually read about the consequences of a run-away tongue.
We will never control our tongues on our own – we will fail miserably.
The only way is by the big pointer that Paul gives us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we should take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ
So how are you in controlling your tongue? – I know I have had a huge wake up call!
The tongue should be used to bring Glory to God. James says we can’t be cursing and praising at the same time – a spring of water doesn’t flow fresh and salt water.
We are wonderfully and mysteriously made – God has made us all unique and each one of us needs to come to Him for forgiveness and cleansing.
It is only through Him that we can claim victory over our mouth.
Don’t let our BIG mouths cause BIG troubles because there will be BIG consequences!
Faith in God is believing His Word over anything you may see, hear or experience. Married to SueAnn and living in Newcastle NSW Australia – We both love Jesus – he is our strength, our Hope and our Redeemer.