Summary: Controlling our tongues
What kinds of words are careless and dishonor the Lord?
Words that are Gossip
Words that are Unwholesome
Words that are Lies
What kinds of words are thoughtful and glorify the Lord?
Words that Forgive
Words that Encourage
Words that are True and Loving
Four preachers met for a friendly gathering.
Thought it would be good to confess sins to one another.
Pastor 1 would sneak off occasionally to a bar outside of town and get drunk
Pastor 2 liked to go gambling.
Pastor 3 was addicted to smoking and would leave the church regularly to go have a smoke.
Pastor 4 did not want to confess what His big sin was.
Finally, He said, “Well, I guess I should have gone first. You see, I am an incurable gossip and I can hardly wait to get out of here!”
While we laugh at that humorous story, if you have been on the end of being gossiped about or lied about, you can understand the destruction that can be caused by what comes out of some people’s mouths and gossip is only one example.
Thus our next area of Extreme Makeover will focus on our mouths, specifically our tongues.
In our Extreme Makeover series, we have had a couple of interesting makeovers already.
We have had a heart transplant
An ear augmentation, (our ears enlarged) and
We have gone from 20/20 to “cross”-eyed.
These are the things God wants to do to us to make our life better.
So far, we may not be looking like we hoped, but we have been finding out that making our life better is more about being in close relationship with God than about the external appearance of our bodies.
So, that being said, the next makeover that I believe God would like to do on us is to give us Pierced Tongues.
Pierced tongues? Not pierced tongues like you see in some today with a stud in their tongue. But a pierced tongue so that we would be less likely to use our tongue to inflict damage on others as well as ourselves.
Something that would help to keep our tongue pinned to our mouths in moments when we want to blurt stuff out or say something inappropriate.
Turn to James 3:1-10. Let’s read about what James tells us about the tongue.
James 3:1-10 (p. 855)
1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
I am certain that each one of us have had evil things come out of our mouths. But as James tells us, this should not be.
The first step in overcoming the tongue is having our hearts changed. I began this series with a message about a heart transplant. We need to have a new heart. A heart of flesh given to us when we receive Jesus Christ as Savior.
If you have never received Jesus as your Savior, we will never really be able to have control over our tongues.
Matthew 12:34 says, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Our heart needs to be changed if our tongues are to be ultimately controlled.
But after that, many still struggle with their tongues. To see our tongues pierced, controlled by the Lord, we need to be willing to let Him control it. And if we are going to do that, there are several things that we need to understand about the tongue.