Guarding Your Tongue Will Guard Another’s Heart
A new year and a new decade have prompted me to really think about some of the things I would like to change about myself. There’s no question that I want my relationship with God to grow stronger. So, with this being said, I have to ask myself, “what practices are helping me with this need I have and what practices are hurting me and slowing me down and hindering my precious relationship with Him?”
One of the things I have realized is that my tongue seems to be the main hindrance to my growing relationship with God. Of course I don’t cuss or try and hurt others purposely with my tongue but when I really asked God what I needed to work on the most I kept being lead to my tongue. I realized that even times I don’t mean to hurt myself or hurt others with my tongue, I do.
We don’t realize that as Christians, we have an even higher obligation to watch our tongues, to only speak positive unto ourselves and unto others! We must learn to talk the Heavenly Languages, peace, love, blessing, and kindness. Too many times we get caught up in pointing out other’s faults that we forget to speak kindness or blessings over them. How can somebody change if our tongue is preventing that change? We might say, “I will pray for them, “but then turn right around and curse them or speak about their faults as if we have none of our own. Won’t that counteract what we intend on doing? Not to mention the damage on others that we may not even realize is being done.
When we say we are Christians, yet continue to bring out others faults or speak negatively against others, we are telling nonbelievers that this is what Christians do. You have no idea how many times I have heard nonbelievers say, “he thinks he is so high and mighty because he follows the Lord and goes to Church and he’s always talking about other people and JUDGING them, I thought Christians weren’t supposed to judge?” When we put ourselves out there to speak of others, we are telling nonbelievers that we think we are better and that because we follow Christ we think we can judge. Sure, others are doing the same thing and talking about the same person but guess who is going to get the spotlight with the same behavior that everybody else is doing? The Christian.
The thought of this used to anger me and I would ask myself, “but don’t they know that we too are humans and fall short? Don’t they know that just because I am a Christian, doesn’t mean I’m going to be perfect?” Yes, that’s true. I am a human and I will fall short every day for the rest of my life but that doesn’t mean I can’t grow and continue to strive to be that follower of Christ that I long to be or that walking example of God’s LOVE and mercy and grace that I SHOULD be. Our tongue has a lot to do with what others see in us. God’s Word has a strong medicine for those who carelessly wag their tongues. We are not offered the luxury of negativity or hate or dislike against others. We have an added responsibility as Christians to guard our tongues and to guard other’s hearts.
This isn’t in just how we talk about others or “make fun of” or point out others faults but also in complaining and grumbling. So many of us get into a slump in life that all we do is grumble about the terrible things going on in life that we forget to praise Him for the wonderful things that are going on. Some of us may even get to a point, and we don’t even realize it, where others avoid talking to us because they are so tired of hearing, “woe is me, why do things always happen to me, when will life get better for me…..me me me.” We may not even realize we are doing this…but we are.
No, we aren’t perfect and here on earth, we never will be. However, I will for one do all I can to allow God to use me in all ways. I want Him to use my hands for Him, hear for Him, walk for Him, and speak for Him. I’m not speaking for Him when I am putting others down or pointing out faults or when I am always wrapped up in the terrible things going on in my life. I will never be perfect in this area but I will certainly try and work with Him on this. I will learn to allow Him to capture my thoughts before I speak them. Even if I do have negative thoughts or feelings towards somebody, I will hand Him those thoughts and pray for the person and ask God to not only help them but to help me understand that person, because we never know what somebody else is battling. Their behavior might not be a “acceptable” in our opinions but that’s between them and God and instead of bashing or speaking negative thoughts on them, why don’t we pray for them and ask God to help us understand and to also use us in whatever way HE needs us to be used. Sometimes that need is to just be an example of warmth, compassion, kindness, and love……even when it is sometimes hard. Think about how many times it must have been hard for God to love us but He did it anyway and will continue to do so.