Better Your Face & Eyes than Your Tongue

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For so many of us, we would be so much better off if only our eyes and our faces did the speaking and our tongues remained both tied and tamed.

#tameyourtongue #letyoureyesspeak #somuchbetterthanwordsthatkill #scarlettoharalessons #gonewiththewind #speaklife or #holdyourtongue

Too few of us would dare to profess we have completely mastered the art of speech that always and only continually edifies, encourages, or brings correction in a gentle and loving manner.  This should be the goal and desire of all of us to speak the truth in love, or let our words be few, rather than our tongues being a spout to spew ugliness all over others.

…If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life…The Message – James 3:2

Here are the thoughts that burst into my brain upon viewing this pic of the tenacious character of “Scarlett O’Hara”:

  • Better to let your eyes do the cutting rather than your words.
  • Your eyes may give subtle clues that the thoughts churning within your head are desperate to deliver a message, but your tongue clearly reveals the state of your mind and your heart.  Out of the heart, the mouth speaks (Jesus, Matthew 12:34).*
  • Here’s how the progression works:
    • you see it,
    • you think and dwell on it,
    • it becomes embedded within your heart,
    • & then you speak it out of your mouth.
    • Later, your talk becomes your walk – your daily lifestyle.
    • Your life becomes a reflection of all your eyes, mind, and heart continually focus on.
  • Therefore, guard your eye gate.
    • I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar …(Psalm 101:3)
  • Focus your mind on what is good, true, pure and lovely.
    • And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  (Philippians 4:8)

  • Guard your heart, for out of it flow all the issues you are presently dealing with in your life.
    • Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
  • SPEAK the truth in love and SAY only that which is helpful and/or builds others up, or…
    • Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. (Ephesians 4:15)
    • Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.  (Ephesians 4:29)
  • …REMAIN SILENT and FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE!  –
    • Understand this my brothers and sisters:  you must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  James 1:19
    • Like the old saying, “If you can’t say something good, then don’t say anything at all!”  “Good” in this sense can include correction, but spoken with respect and kindness for whomever is on the receiving end.

*In Matthew 12:34 , we see Jesus holding neither his thoughts or his tongue when he calls the Pharisees a “brood of snakes”!  Some might take this out of context and run with it as a stamp of approval on all sorts of berating and name calling as just fine with Jesus.  However, we have to go back to Matthew 12:25 where we see that Jesus “knew their thoughts.”  After all, Jesus is God in human form (John 1:1,14).  He not only knew their thoughts, but also the condition of their hearts, which is why He later is quoted in verse 35 saying, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  Only God knows what is truly within the heart of a person.  However, Jesus has given us a good analogy here.  A tree is known by its fruit.  Occasionally, a bad piece of fruit might be hanging on our tree so to speak, or, we might unleash a few words in a stressful situation that we later truly regret.  However, if there is never any good fruit, or good, kind, or wholesome words, our tree is either not likely abiding in the root of God’s garden (His righteousness), or there are definitely some “heart” issues that need to be uprooted.

*Matthew 12:34 (NLT) – You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

 

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life…Proverbs 15:4

A Prayer:  

Lord, Help me by Your Spirit to guard my eyes, to turn away from viewing or looking on evil or on anything that is degrading or abusive of those who are created in Your image, or is not pleasing to You, or being used to bring a forth change for the better.  Help me to focus on things that are good, pure, and lovely.  Help me to keep my focus on You, Your love, mercy, forgiveness, and kindness.   Help me to see others through the lens of your love, mercy, and grace.  Help me to forgive others just as You continually forgive me.  Help me to renew my mind through the study and memorization of Your word and your promises.  Help me to focus on The Truth that will teach, challenge, and transform me into the person You desire me to be.  Help me to guard my heart from offense, pride, envy, jealousy, resentment, bitterness, and hate.  Help me to love my friends and pray for my enemies.  Help me to speak the truth in love, and to encourage others.  Help me to treat everyone with courtesy and dignity.

Holy Spirit, guard my eyes, my mind, my heart, my spirit, and my mouth.  May the meditation of my heart and the words of my mouth be pleasing and acceptable to You, O’ Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalm 34:1)

The Message – James 3:2-12

…If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.  A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!

It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!

My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?

 

If you’re interested in a few more verses to assist in your tongue taming mission, read on:

As you read through these verses below, keep in mind that none of us can tame our tongues by sheer will power.  However, we can do all things in and through the power of Christ and His Spirit working in and through us.  With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible!*

  • Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! (Psalm 34:12-13)
  • The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words. (Proverbs 10:32)
  • Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. (Proverbs 13:3)
  • The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.  (Proverbs 18:21)
  • Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble. (Proverbs 21:23)
  • If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. (James 1:26)

*Philippians 4:13; Matthew 19:26

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