Taming the Tongue

I possess a weapon of mass destruction. It’s not buried in my basement, or my backyard, or even in my front flower bed.  I have no hidden bunkers to speak of, yet, I have a full armament ready and at my disposal. 
It’s a double-edged sword.  A ticking time bomb.  It’s a grenade and needs only for someone to say something, do something, and the pin is pulled, and I let loose a stream of self-righteous words, far reaching verbal shrapnel ricocheting and shredding everyone it touches.
It doesnt  matter how often I try and grab hold of it. White knuckled, veins popping on my two hands, it’s hinged in the middle and whips and lashes violently. 
I have a weapon of mass destruction. That weapon is my tongue.When it gets the better of me, unleashing a horrible and tremendous power, I am not a nice person.
At all.
Like a well-sharpened sword, I wield words of judgment and condemnation while I feel something in my spirit die. Consequently,  it isnt hard to see pieces of the other person’s spirit shrivel and disappear as well, like a light dimming in the window of their soul. 
My catty remarks strike forcefully, stinging and biting, to leave raised and bruised welts and I can see that person cringe and cower under the blind red rage of my anger. It shames me to know my words, once loosed, have left a trail of tears and condemnation in their wake.
There are times I try to find ways to justify my words fueled by my flash in the pan temper.  Someone has hurt me, told me I’m wrong, judged me, or gossiped about me. You know the drill.  This person deserves the brunt of my anger and the stream of words sharpening the already vicious edge of my weapon of choice. Sometimes, and these are the worst of times, the only justifiable point is that it sure felt good to stab and jab.
This taming of the tongue is hard work.  It’s hard work to surrender this weapon to God. 
…but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8 NLT)


We need Jesus for this, for only He has what it takes to help us un-load the ammunition. Re-sheath the sword.  Silence our angry heart.
Jesus didn’t speak words of judgment.  He didn’t use His tongue to wither a spirit.  Speaking love and truth at every turn righteousness and forgiveness flowed as freely as the blood that purchased our salvation.
I realize now I cannot grip this weapon on my own.  In solitude I cannot possibly win the battle of taming my tongue.  Even if I cut out this fleshy offender, my words can still hurt and spite and slice.
I am so glad, so very glad, there is plan.  Our good God has created a way for us to be able to use our tongue to praise Him and exalt Him instead of destroy. 
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17, 18 NLT)
Thank you Jesus, that through Him there is no condemnation.  The Spirit, whom He left behind when He ascended, has the power to guide me.  When I bring everything to Him He can grab hold of the weapon that is my tongue and help me control its destruction. 
I have these words taped to my kitchen cabinets and it is my prayer every day…
Dear God,  help me “only speak words that make souls stronger.”  -Ann Voskamp and Holley Gerth
“Only speak words that make souls stronger” – It’s the cry of my heart. 

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