(Proverbs 11:12,13; 12:18; 13:3; 15:1,2,23,28; 16:24; 17:27; 21:23; 26:21,22,28)
Lesson 11 -- third quarter 1998
August 16, 1998
© Copyright 1998, Christian Light Publications
Your tongue functions as a mirror, reflecting outwardly what shines inwardly. Your mouth could be likened to a faucet--open it to get what's inside. So to know someone better, listen to them; for through the lips streams the abundance of the heart.
Now, suppose you aren't entirely satisfied with your speech. Worse yet, imagine you are quite displeased with certain elements of your speech. How shall you resolve so great a dilemma! And this is a terrific dilemma, for Man the Tamer has never tamed his own tongue. Nor will he. The obvious answer in light of the first paragraph lies in dealing with something other than the tongue, lips and mouth.
Fix the heart, fix the tongue! The bad news is, the human heart is beyond repair. We all need replacements...and even the world's premier heart surgeon fails in the type of surgery required. Only the Lord Jesus can work so miraculous a change in us. Only the Holy Spirit can maintain us with good post-operative care. Need more good news? The divine health care team requires no appointments; it works promptly upon the sincere request of the patient.
So what is your speech impediment? You're right, I'm not talking about stuttering, slurring or anything of the sort. I'm talking about such things as harshness, coldness, hastiness, unkindness, deceptiveness and lots of other things that like to nest in our mouths. Having identified your impediment, go to God for help. Not just in controlling your tongue, but in cleansing your heart. You must realize, though, that His work in your heart will affect much more than just your speech! Are you willing for a complete change of life should that result?
As we consider the tongue and its need for "reform," we may question whether imperfect speech is such a big deal. After all, if I lose control of my tongue, won't remorse and apology work wonders? Besides, we often easily think of words as nothing, and opt to make excuses and explanations. For our own good, let's consider a few concepts yet from our lesson text.
Keep your tongue; keep your life. Did you ever imagine the secret of success, happiness, longevity and satisfaction could be reduced to such simple terms?! Without doubt, death and life are in the power of the tongue. So make sure you keep it under control--God's control.
Keep your tongue; keep your soul. We all know what a troubled mind is like--restless, weighted down, random thoughts, hard-to-control thoughts. We all know what a troubled will is like--at times rebellious, at times wishy-washy, at times hard to sort out. And we all know what troubled emotions are like--wild, unstable, flighty, unexplainable, wearing. You can help prevent all these by keeping your tongue.
Speak with your heart. Almost everybody can speak with their tongues, so there is nothing particularly novel in being able to utter words. The studied answer, though, distinguishes the righteous person. Take the time to think, to consider knowledge, to choose righteousness--then speak. If by that time you missed your opportunity, it was likely an opportunity well missed!
Words. Sentences. Paragraphs. Whole volumes. Speech so readily flows forth. May it be characterized by health, blessing, good, sweetness and pleasantness!
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