Sunday, June 5
The Bible has a lot to say about our speech. The Psalms and Proverbs cover just about every aspect of this subject. The N.T. has a lot to say, too. James shows a wise balance in James 3:2. “For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.” Well put—but a standard that is impossible to attain. He adds “The tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body, and is itself set on fire by hell.” James 3:6. Strong language. Though he nails the problem, James doesn’t say much about a solution. He does say that “this ought not to be” (v. 10) and that “no human being can tame the tongue” (v. 8). He implies that we should turn to God for a solution. Jesus said “not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” Mt. 15:11. And in Mt. 12:34 “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Then in v. 36 he warns the Pharisees “. . . men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken . . .” Note that Jesus says “careless word” here—not lying words or blasphemous words. Words that are not positive, even without malice, are to be judged. So our 30,000 words a day need to be reduced— or replaced with better words. Fill the glass with good stuff!