The tongue is a powerful thing. The Bible tells us that the tongue, albeit small, is a powerful part of the body that can do many great things, either for good or bad. As such, we all need to master how we control our tongue.
The Bible says the ability to control the tongue is so great that anyone who can do that can be considered "a perfect man." Read what James says about it:
"We all err in many ways. But if any man does not err in word, he is a perfect man and able also to control the whole body." (James 3:2)
Controlling the tongue
The figurative tongue – our language – is something we find hard to control. Before any of us ever learned to speak we already made babbles that, although unintelligible, is our way of communicating or expressing things. Many of us even use words we barely understand simply because they sound "good."
Some of us are smooth talkers, able to charm our way into any agreement with another person. Cheap shoppers know the art of haggling and are able to purchase items at a rock-bottom believe-it-or-not price (I know some people like that). Whatever it is, the tongue is crucial to all of that.
The tongue, however, is something we all need to learn to control so that we can glorify God with it. We all need to master our tongues so that what is spoken is beneficial, edifying, and helpful. We all need to tame our tongue so that whatever we say will be a life-giving blessing to others, not their cause of pain.
Practice your tongue
As such, I would like to encourage you to practice using your tongue in ways that will make God happy. Here are some reasons to do so.
1. What you say to others you also say to God
Following the logic in Jesus' discourse in Matthew 25:40, we must realise that whatever we do to others, we also do it to Him. The same goes with what we say to others.
God is not an onion-skinned person who gets terribly offended in the slightest utterance of hurtful words. But He does not want us to speak words we wouldn't really want to hear being said to us. If we want to honour God, let's be careful with what we say to others.
2. Your tongue is not your own
Your tongue may be inside your mouth, but it's not yours. The truth is that if you are in Christ, all of you is not your own. You must live for Christ, tongue included.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:15 that Christ Jesus "died for all, that those who live should not from now on live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again."
3. Your words can either be helpful or hurtful – you choose
Although we are redeemed by Christ (tongue included), the choice to do good or bad still remains on our shoulders. Same with our lips: we are given freedom to use it according to what we desire. I hope we will desire to speak nothing but God's truth and love.
Galatians 5:13-14 tells us,
"You, brothers, have been called to liberty. Only do not use liberty to give an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For the entire law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"