Skip to content


October 19, 2016


“But no man can tame the tongue . . ..” James 3:8a

Don’t let it become an excuse, though.  Scripture also says that we all sin.  That’s a fact, but if we use it as an excuse for spiritual laziness, that’s really inexcusable.

David solved the problem with, “I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle.” (Ps. 39:1c.)  If that’s what it takes, do it!  James adds that the tongue “defiles the whole body, and it sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire by hell.” (3:6)  A member that powerful requires a strong restraint.

Not only is it strong; it’s sneaky.  Sometimes we intend to say something, but we wind up saying it a little wrong.  A slip of the tongue we call it.  A subset of this we call a Freudian slip.  That’s when the slip may reveal a subconscious thought.  (Political sorts have to be especially wary of this lest it explode in their face as a new animal called “political incorrectness.”)  Our words!  Oh, the power of them for good or evil!  That’s even when we didn’t mean quite what we said.  Is it any wonder that no man can tame the tongue?

A muzzle might help, but the problem is still the problem.  Jesus showed it to His detractors:  “Brood of vipers!  How can you, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Mt. 12:34)   There it is–it’s the heart.  The heart has to be made right.  

No man.  But God.  God can.  He can when you sacrifice yourself to Him for transformation “by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom. 12:20)  The details are spelled out as the fruit of the Spirit.  See Galatians 5:22f.  Are you working with Him to renew your mind?  It’ll do wonders for the tongue.

Larry A. Shelley

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: