Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh, Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

Do you remember the Sunday School song that says, "Oh, be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little eyes what you see.  There's a Father up above and He's looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see."  The song also includes warnings to little ears, hands, feet and mouth -- parts of the body that can get us into trouble.

James would consider the mouth the biggest culprit.

In his New Testament letter, he talks a lot about taming the tongue.  He says it is "a small part of the body but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell"! (James 3:5&6).  It's enough to make you never want to say a word!

Keeping our mouths shut helps, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.  According to Jesus, "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34).  So what we say simply reveals what's in our hearts.

Sometimes the things that come out of our mouths shock us.  Did I just say that?  Is that really what I think?  It should cause us to examine our hearts, our motives, our attitudes.  And as we honestly bring these things to Jesus, He cleanses us.

Here are some things we can do that will help our little mouths be careful what they say:

1. Keep our hearts right with God.

2. Ask Him to set a guard over our mouths and keep watch over the door of our lips (Psalm 141:3).

3. Speak of God's goodness.  Psalm 71:15 declares, "My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure."

4. Avoid "obscenity, foolish talk and coarse joking," (Ephesians 5:4) which are so much a part of this world's conversations.

5. Follow the counsel of Paul in Colossians 4:6 -- "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

1 comment:

camilla said...

Controlling my tongue is the most difficult thing for me. I appreciate your words reminding us that it is a reflection of what's in our hearts. Sometimes we work harder at keeping our mouths shut than fixing the real problem, our hearts. Thank you for your convicting words (though they sting) and the gentle turn in the direction of focusing on changing what's in my heart.

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