We've all been there. We engaged in a conversation and we say something that we wish we wouldn't have said. Maybe it is something that makes us embarrassed. Maybe we let informations lip out our mouth that we wish we wouldn't have. Maybe we don't think someone is around and as the words are coming out of our mouth, there they are! I'd bet almost everyone has had a moment or two like this before.
Our mouths, and what the Bible sometimes calls 'the tongue,' can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. The Book of James, chapter 3, in the New Testament compares the tongue to a small fire that can quickly set ablaze an entire forest. There is a great responsibility that comes with how we speak. Jesus said that one day people will be accountable for all the words they produce. A warning that I believes covers not just what we say verbally, but what we write on Facebook and blogs and Twitter, as well as the many words we think in our minds.
The primary responsibility of the tongue, according to the Bible, is to 1) declare the glory of God and; 2) confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is taught in places like Psalm 35:28, Psalm 45:1, Psalm 119:72, Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:11. The tongue is a tool. A tool for bringing praise and glory to God, or a tool for doing hurt and damage to oneself and others. It is a tool that carries an awesome weight. There is so much potential in the tongue of man, and sadly we see the destructive potential much more than the glorious potential.
I know that I need to be increasingly aware of how I am using my tongue. I have three kids at home listening to my every word. I have a building of associates that I manage who are watching and listening to me as their manager. I live in a community that needs the light of Christ, and who points at the loose words of Christians as a reason to avoid Christ instead of running to Him. This verse in Psalm 39:1 is helpful to me, as I hope it will be to you,
“I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence.”