Do you think we have a habit of talking more than doing?
Complaining instead of changing.
Whining instead of worship?
Gossip instead of Grace?
Speaking instead of listening?
"Confiding" in friends instead of praying?
Venting instead of forgiving.
I was sharing with a friend how a particular area of my life has seen significant improvement. She asked, "What do you think changed?" I said, "I stopped talking and started praying!"
Now there's a concept. If the conversation isn't edifying to humans, start praying to the One who can actually do something about.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20
Notice how James connects speaking with anger.
After I found this verse I looked at the above list and thought, yep, anger can certainly be tied to these habits.
I learned a very interesting thing about anger a couple of years ago. A wise gentleman from Kansas said to my son and I, "Anger is always the second emotion."
Give this some thought.
My heart is hurt...then I get mad.
I get scared...then I get mad.
I am disrespected...mad.
And I may even want to get even. Oh my!
This is where the tongue can get me into trouble. It just comes spewing out with reckless abandon. It's like the claws on a caged cat. Nasty indeed!
Listen what James has to say several verses later.
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 1:26
Words first are a thought.
I am blessed by the 21 days of brain detoxing I have completed.http://drleaf.com/about/toxic-thoughts/ (Scroll to the bottom and check it out.) Always growing and learning. Always more to work on. The whole program is speaking to the thoughts going on and the paths of toxicity and negativity they have produced. "Change in your thinking is essential to detox the brain. Consciously controlling your thought life means not letting thoughts rampage through your mind. It means learning to engage interactively with every single thought that you have, and to analyze it before you decide either to accept or reject it." Dr. Caroline Leaf
Take thoughts captive. (2 Cor 10:5) Recognize the negative thought and do something about it. Easier said than done. But with practice it does become easier. It's quite something the thoughts that run wild in that noggin. A wild journey this has been, but so liberating. You may want to seriously consider joining me.
Anyway, The Lord always reveals things to me as I type: Amy, perhaps this is a clue on how to control the tongue. Be in charge of your thoughts. Before speaking start praying. Hand over the negative reaction, the hurt heart and ask for healing immediately. (Handing over for me can sometimes mean physically opening up my hands and imagining placing the "gripe" on the altar for Jesus to handle. This can also be done visualizing in my head as well.)
So my prayer for me and for you is that soon the change and freedom that happens in the mind will also be shown abundantly in the heart. And then what is said with the tongue is goodness flowing. Because this is truth from the Word: What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45b and the tongue can bring death or life. Prov 18:21a NLT
Lord, let our tongues bring life.
Easier said than done.
But as a willing servant Lord, help me to:
Let it be done and not just said.