“If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect person!”

James 3 - Taming the tongueNext to guarding my heart from which “everything else flows” (Proverbs 4:23), my mouth comes in a close second! In fact the Bible tells me the two are related, so I better pay close attention to both of ‘em (Matthew 12:34)!

Every day on the news or in less obvious contexts we observe the sad and destructive results of an unguarded, unruly mouth! Something or someone “pushes one of our buttons” wrong and we “pop off” and say something we regret… something that hurts others… but most of all, something that displeases our Heavenly Father. Ever been guilty? I have, to my shame!

During this morning’s Bible reading during “coffee with the Lord” He reminded me of this issue and issued a healthy warning… Glad I was listening! Later in the day, I can tell you I needed it! Here was the warning God gave me…

“We all stumble in many ways… If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. We put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us and we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness…The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. Every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God! From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things ought not to be so!” (from James 3:2-12)

So here was my prayer that followed His warning this morning (right out of the Bible!)…

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer! Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth! Keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalms 19:14 and 141:3) Yup, I prayed it! And I meant it too!

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