Brothers | Weight Lifters | Foolish Tongues
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself… (James 1:26)
There James goes again with another way we are fooling ourselves. This one is even more painful. Now he’s saying that our true heart condition is revealed by what comes out of our mouths. Uh-oh! Since the moment we uttered our first words, we’ve loved speaking our minds. At some point our emotions hijacked our tongues so whatever is firing us up comes out our mouths. That’s why James plopped this verse about controlling our tongues right in the middle of instruction about living authentically. He’s reflecting Jesus’ words from Matthew 15:18: “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” So their point bypasses the words themselves and goes straight for the heart. If the heart’s pure, words will be too.
We’ve all known people who seemed righteous until they opened their mouths. Then gossip, slander, lies, curses, or hate spewed from their lips like dirty water from a sewer pipe—followed by excuses: “I’m not really like that. Just can’t seem to control my mouth.” James disagrees. Our mouths don’t have minds of their own. They can only channel what’s going on in our minds. If our words are continually rude, deceptive, hate-filled, or foul, then there are parts of us that are not surrendered to Jesus. It’s that simple. We may have the coolest Bible version, the most faithful church attendance, and know the words to every worship song, but if our tongues are out of control, we’re fooling ourselves about the level of our devotion.
Final Thought: Do the words of your mouth reflect what you believe to be true about your devotion to Christ? (Eph. 4:29)
Prayer: Father, this convicts me. Too many times, my words don’t reflect what I believe to be true of my heart, so I lay my mouth on the altar and ask you to control everything I say. May my heart and my words please you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.