A few days ago I read a devotional that referenced Ephesians 4:29 as the main scripture, but the scripture stuck out to me was:
James 1:26, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” (NIV)
That was an “ouch” moment.
Besides me, how many of you have ever had conversations that you regretted afterwards? Come on be honest. Remember a moment where you were talking about somebody and all of a sudden they walked by or you left the room to see them standing right outside taking to someone else? Your heart flipped, your stomach sank and you felt about as high as the shortest flea alive? We feel that way because deep down we know it is wrong. Like the Bible says, if we can’t keep a tight reign on our tongues, then our religion is worthless. You know, idle words, gossip, etc. Even if no one else is around to hear what you are saying to the person you are talking to, remember God is right there beside you, maybe shaking His head in shame and hurt that His child, who is supposed to be an example of His love by the way, would do something like that.
What good does talking about someone else or being negative about everything do for us? Nothing. As a Christian, we are to be examples to others and what we do may cause someone else to stumble or to become stronger in Christ. What kind of example will you choose to be today, an encourager who builds others up, or a discourager who talks about others and emits negativity? Don’t forget there’s a lot of guilt and shame associated with the latter.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
The easiest way for us to remember to keep our mouths in check is to THINK before we speak, text, tweet, Facebook, etc: