As Christ followers, our speech should reflect Him and His ways and be seasoned with grace, humility, and love. If we confess our faith in Christ, there should be evidence of our changed speech as well as our changed life and behavior. When people meet us, they should hear and see something different than the rest of the world who does not follow the Lord.
I admit, I struggle with taming my tongue, especially if I am caught up in my emotions and/or sleep deprived or hungry. My flesh wants to rule, and one way that happens in my life is how I am wielding my words.
If there was one verse from the Bible that I should have tattooed under my eyelids, it would be from Psalm 141:
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3, NKJV).
This has become a constant prayer for me, especially as I am seeing how my speech is influencing my children. Children are little sponges, and they pick up on everything we say and do. My oldest is becoming a master of sarcasm thanks to me. I see my sinful speech tendencies in my children, and I don’t want these habits to form into consistent behavior. Out of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34), so our words are a reflection of what is going on in our heart. We should take pause when we see ungodly speech become consistent in our life, repent, and ask God to help us guard our mouth and choose our words wisely or know when to be silent.
Even in disagreements, we should continue to speak with a heart of love for others and not use profanity or offensive remarks that would hurt or cause pain. We should also be careful to not grumble or complain or speak ungraciously about someone, but to use our tongue to proclaim our thankfulness unto the Lord as well as speak good and edifying things of others. Taming the tongue is something we must grow in each day as the Lord sanctifies us. The good news is that we are never left on our own to walk in that type of self-control regarding our words. It is not something we can do apart from the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. The temptation to use our tongue for our own benefit and reputation is strong but let us be quick to ask the Lord for His help daily as we continue to grow in the likeness of Him, especially in our speech.
I repent for using my tongue to puff myself up above others, complain about my circumstances, or hurt others with painful words that cut deep to the heart. I need Your help to control my tongue in times of strife or disagreement with others. I want my words to glorify You and share Your truth and gospel. I pray that my actions would also reflect my speech. I long for my walk with You to match my profession of faith. Help me to guard my mouth and to choose my words wisely or know when it’s best not to say anything at all. When my flesh wants to rule, I trust that You provide a way out every time I am tempted to use my words in a foolish way. Thank You for continually working in me and through me, so that I may look more and more like Jesus in word and deed. In Jesus’ name, amen.