In a bible study with my daughter…we were learning about the tongue and God listening in to whatever we say. Even as she mused over her Angel taking notes of whatever she says and does; it left me with a deeper impression about the consequences of all the words I carelessly utter…irrespective whether they are factual or based on other people’s sharing.
Is there anything in this World that is as hard to control as a tongue? James 3:9 says, “With the tongue we praise our LORD and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.” We use the tongue to lift up our voices in Worshipping the true living God; and in the same breath we make complaints and grumble against God and fellow man. Yes, with the very tongue… we rebuke one another; and at the same time use the tongue to gossip and slander others.
Slander is closely associated to gossip, rumor, backbite, rail which means talking about a personal , sensational , intimate nature; uncertain origin of communication spread by mouth; malicious statement or report which is injurious to a person’s reputation; speaking spitefully about another; and to attack in bitter, harsh or abusive language.
One person mentioned that if we were honest, all of us would admit to have a problem in this area. How many can honestly say they have never said something about someone else and then later realize they should not have said it? In a conversation, many times the tongue is like a runaway horse…galloping away with no sign of tiring; yet as shared with the young one…nothing said ever misses God. The Psalmist quotes God saying, “You speak continually against your brother and slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done and I have kept silent; and you thought I was altogether like you. But, I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face”. Psalms 50:20-21. Much as this portion speaks to siblings within a family, also it speaks to the Body of Christ (Church) for we are ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ before God, our Father in Heaven.
The consequence of allowing ‘salt water’ to flow out of our lips is God’s Wrath. Is an enjoyable talk or ‘informative’ talk about another person worth a reprimand or Wrath from God? Christians, can we purpose to muzzle our tongue; and assist others to do so? The psalmist said, “I will watch my ways, and keep my tongue from Sin” 39:1.
“My brothers, can a fig-tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a Salt spring produce fresh water.” James 3:12