James 1:26 – Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. (NIV 2011)
Colossians 4:6 – Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. (MSG)
One Sunday last month, I decided to watch a televised church service that I tune in to occasionally. I enjoy this particular pastor's sermons because they always deal with the challenges of everyday living. What made me listen that particular Sunday was her opening question, "Is your tongue saved?"
In all honesty, I had to say to myself, "No." Reining in my tongue seems to have been a lifelong struggle. I remember my father saying the same thing to me each time I spoke out of turn as a child, and to this day, I hear it in my mind when I find myself saying something that I wish I hadn't. He would just ask me, "Why are you always talking when you should be listening?"
As a teenager, I remember hearing the slang term my peers used when someone would say something inappropriate: "Open mouth. Insert foot." As an adult, I have often read the paraphrase of an old adage, "Remember to keep your words soft and sweet, because someday you may have to eat them!" Shouldn't I have gotten the message by now?
"The battle of the tongue is won not in the mouth, but in the heart." – Annie Chapman.
As I write this devotional, I am wondering how you, the reader of this Daily devotional, would answer the question, "Is your tongue saved?"
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we try, oh, how we try to curb our tongues, but we seem unable to control what we say, when and where we say it. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we ask You to help us to remember what James taught us, and please, Lord, help us to rein in our tongues so that our religion will not be worthless. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Rejoice The Lord Is King" (Lyrics)