My community group at CC is studying the book of James right now. We have only finished chapters 1 and 2, but we are getting ready to study ch. 3. For those of you who don't know, the first part of James 3 talks about "Taming the Tongue". Lately, I have been finding the subject of our "tongues" coming up quite a bit in events around me, i.e. sermons, devotionals, Bible study, friends, radio etc. As a mother, I have been really convicted on how I use my tongue when it comes to my children. Timmy is going through a stage right now where he is asking "why?" on EVERYTHING it seems. And I am not talking about the "why?" questions that 2 or 3 yr olds ask, I am talking about things that I don't know the answer for or if there is even an answer. It's very hard to have patience and speak in love when you are being asked questions that you don't know the answer.
For example, on Tuesday, I had to go to the Atlanta airport to pick up Ed, and we hit downtown Atlanta around 6:00pm. Traffic was bumper to bumper, cars and trucks were weaving in and out of lanes in spaces smaller than my van, so I had to stay focused on my driving. Well, Timmy decided this was a good time to start asking me some of those "why?" questions. Here are just a few of them, "Mommy, why are those roads signs green?" and "Mommy, why are the lights on the back of those cars red?", and "Mommy, why can't we just pick up our car and fly to the airport?" And on and on it went. Finally I had to say, "Timmy, can you please not ask Mommy any questions right now, I have to concentrate on my driving?" I was proud of myself because I didn't raise my voice (for once...I know...I'm bad) and I remained calm. Then he says this, "Well, then can I ask these questions to myself?" I said, "Yes, if you say them to yourself." I was thinking he would just "think" them...nope...about 30 seconds later I hear, "Timmy, why are those road signs green?" I about hit the car in front of me I was laughing so hard. He then proceeded to answer himself..."those signs are green because they are road signs". He is too funny.
Anyway...back to the topic...James 3: 7-10 says, (7) For every kind of beast and bird, reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, (8)but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (9) With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. (10) From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. There is so much I could go on about this passage alone, but I will pull out this.
The words that come out of our mouth...are we blessing others? OR are we cursing others? (I don't believe this is referring to "curse" words - I believe it's talking about using our words to hurt someone, not building up each other). There is a verse in Psalms that I LOVE to pray over my day and it's this: Psalms 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." I love this verse because I think words and our heart go hand in hand. Because what is in the heart, what we think about, what we dwell on inside, is what comes out on our tongue. I want my heart to be pleasing to the Lord, so that my words will be pleasing to the Lord.
When it comes to my children, I have to make sure that my heart is where it needs to be so that I when I speak to them it is pleasing to the Lord AS WELL AS uplifting to my children. I share this today because it is something that the Lord has been dealing with me about...how I speak to my children when I am frustrated, when I am disciplining them, when I am just speaking in general. As parents, it's OUR responsibility to raise our children in a godly home. What kind of home is it when our words are not blessing our children?
My challenge to you...take 1 day and ask God to help you think before you speak. I DID this last week, and let me tell you, I was convicted about speaking some words before I spoke them, and was able to change my heart, which changed the words from my tongue. Because, once words are spoken, you can't take them back.