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Taming The Tongue - Part 3

Taming The Tongue - Part 3
Taking The Initiative By Having a Plan

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth. Psalms 37:7-9 (NKJV)

There's a story about a man who was working in the produce department at the grocery store.  A lady asked him if she could buy half a head of lettuce. He replied, "Half a head? Are you serious? God grows these in whole heads and that's how we sell them!" "You mean," she persisted, "that after all the years I've shopped here, you won't sell me half-a-head of lettuce?"  "Look," he said, "If you like I'll ask the manager."
She indicated that would be appreciated, so the young man marched to the front of the store. "You won't believe this, but there's a lame-brained idiot of a lady back there who wants to know if she can buy half-a-head of lettuce."
He noticed the manager gesturing, and turned around to see the lady standing behind him, obviously having followed him to the front of the store. "And this nice lady was wondering if she could buy the other half" he concluded.
Later in the day the manager cornered the young man and said, "That was the finest example of thinking on your feet I've ever seen! Where did you learn that?" "I grew up in Grand Rapids, and if you know anything about Grand Rapids, you know that it's known for its great hockey teams and its ugly women."
The manager's face flushed, and he interrupted, "My wife is from Grand Rapids!" "And which hockey team did she play for?"

That's a funny story, but I think we can all relate to those times when we say something because of something someone did or said.  I think one of the hardest temptations to endure is that of pride - it is pride that causes us to act in response to another person's comments or actions - we feel we must respond in like manner, or be thought of as something lesser.

There is something in us that wells up within our flesh when we see someone attacking us or persecuting us that causes us to want to respond in kind.  It can be someone at work or even here in church - you hear them saying one thing, and yet their actions are doing something else.  You find yourself wanting to say something.   You can find yourself wanting to execute judgment and reveal it.  We must understand that it is a trial and a test for us.

Q:    How can we overcome our innate natural response to become puffed up in the flesh and telling someone what we really think about them, and ultimately choosing to participate in the same sin?

A:    We can think about what we say before it gets out of the cage of our mouth and hurts others.

When we find ourselves tempted to speak forth ungodly things, we must seek God's will and His power to hold our tongue.  We must take captive every thought and cast down those thoughts that come against God's Word and His will for our life (2 Cor.10:5). Every thought has to go through a filtering process where it can be cleaned and thrown out - replaced by something true, noble, just, pure, lovely, things of good report and virtue - things that are praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).

When we get right down to it, it is a matter of the heart (Mark 7:20-23).  We can put a bandage on an abscessing wound and attempt to treat it, and completely ignore the cancer below causing the scab.  It is the same way with our tongue we can't ignore the condition of our hearts and our minds, and need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Rom. 12:1-2).  

In addition to taking our thoughts captive, we must make it our goal to allow God's love to flow through us and to others.  We are not capable of loving those who hurt and offend us on our own, so we must seek God and His empowerment to help us be a blessing and not simply do some similar evil in response.  We see the Apostle Paul speaking of this in the Book of Romans.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:9, 14 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, God has redeemed us and has given us a new nature - one enabling us to desire to put off those old ways of the flesh, including the misuse of our tongue.  Let's be responsible and put on the ways of Jesus in place of those things we put off (Col. 3:8-10).  

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with respect to our taming the tongue?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you committed to taming your tongue today?

APPLICATION: Seek the Lord daily for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), and ask for His wisdom and discernment for handling every situation.  Keep reading daily, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  Get rid of the bad thoughts and replace them with ones from God.

Father, thank You for Your Wisdom and discernment.  Thank You for Your guidance and empowerment.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit today and give me the wisdom and discernment to handle every situation.  Help me to love others who come against me.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000