James Wants You to Control Your Tongue

The Apostle James made some profound statements regarding the conduct of the human tongue.

James 3:1-2 (KJV), “My brethren, be not many masters, let not many of you become teachers knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.”

James is admonishing those who are embarking to be teachers of the things of God and the duties of man that they shall receive severe verdict. The fact that they speak the oracles of God, it is only human nature to expect them to practice what they teach and be an example to their students and their listeners. James knew that not everybody is called to be a teacher.

In addition, James warns that man has its limitations. People stumble in many ways. Even the almost perfect teacher is not immune in committing an error. People speak sooner than they think. James, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, reveals the tongue is evil.

James 3:5-6, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”

Although it is a small part of man’s physical body, it is evil; it brags and maliciously exaggerates things. James said that the tongue is a world of iniquity that defiles man, and burns and destroys the course of life. In short, the words you say can either build you or destroy you. What comes out of your mouth sets the course and the outcome of your life. You succeed or doomed by the words of your mouth. Many prestigious and dignified men have ruined their lives along with their professions just because of a stupid remark. All walks of life have been victims of this unruly tongue. The Body of Christ is no excuse.

This unruly tongue has caused insurmountable factions and heartaches within Christian circles. It has offended many and caused stumbling blocks to many followers of Jesus. The tongue also has doomed many and continues to hold them confused and defeated. Exposing yourself to an evil tongue is like taking a daily dose of deadly poison.

Even David prayed for deliverance from becoming a victim of this evil. In his prayer, David reveals the root cause of the evil tongue. Physically, a tongue is just another part of the physical body. It has no mind of its own. What causes the tongue to become evil has to do with the heart of man.

Psalm 140:1-3, “Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; the poison of asps is under their lips.”

The unruly tongue is begotten of an evil man. He is violent and plans evil things in his heart. His tongue is nurtured by the evil heart and is set to launch war at anytime. With an instant, it speaks of evil and lies, corrupting every ear who listens, and then very subtle severs the life of the listener’s heart. Proverbs 18:21a (NKJV), “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

This world is in constant feast of ridicule, slander, bad mouthing, calling names and falsely accusing each other. It grieves the Holy Spirit when people of God become participant in this immature “trash talking” if you will.

Matthew 12:35,”A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”

Listen carefully to people’s words and you’ll discern what’s in their heart. They either speak defeat or victory. As a matter of fact your words will determine what you’ll do next. Life experience and through progressive studies prove that when a person speaks of destroying or killing himself, he will do it. He may appear to be joking when he makes that statement, however, time and time again, he finishes the job.

Athletes know the principle of positive confession. Only losers and the scared will say negative things about their ability and confidence. Ask some boxers out there if they’re confident enough to knock down their opponents. The champion will always say to his opponent, “You will last for only three rounds.” Or, “I’ll whip your behind.”

Its either you speak words of life or words of death. There is power in what you say. Your words have supernatural force that have effects in the spiritual realm, and are able to breakthrough in the physical world. When you speak of negative words or destructive words, words that contrary against the word of God, you’ll eventually suffer from them. What you say is what you get.

1 Peter 3:10, “For the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.’”

The Israelites suffered forty years of journey into the wilderness because of ten unruly tongues who spread the evil report. The journey could have been at least two weeks or less on foot. However, people believed they will never enter the promise land because they believed the evil report. They said they looked like grasshoppers in their enemies’ sight. Well, that’s what they got. They became grasshoppers in their heart and failed themselves and God to seize the promise land. After forty years of aimless wandering in the wilderness, finally Joshua and Caleb and the younger generation at the time, entered the promise land. Joshua and Caleb never gave in to that evil report. The two had maintained their tongues speaking the word of faith and positive confession for forty years.

James 3:8, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

Evil tongue is contrary to the word of God. But it can be controlled supernaturally. It cannot be controlled by man’s ability. It is by the Living Word and the power of the Holy Spirit that an evil tongue is subdued. Your heart is the key. Saturate your heart with the word of God. Feed on His word, meditate on His promises, and begin to speak His word. You must speak the word of God to control your tongue.

Matthew 12:34, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

In the gospel, a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding had received her healing because of her positive confession. She said to herself that if she could only touch the robe of Jesus, she will be healed. After she made that confession, she sneaked behind Jesus, touched His robe and immediately her bleeding stopped.

Jesus said in Mark 11:23, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

There is power in your words. The word of God in your heart when spoken by your mouth can move your mountains. Mountain in life could be lack, disease, hardships, temptations, weakness, tests and trials, tribulations and evil days. You have a choice to remove your mountain. Jesus said to speak to your mountain and it will obey you.

The Book of Proverbs that teaches practical ways to live speaks of positive confession. There is power in what you say. You can change the course of your life from defeat to victory. Do not allow your tongue to utter defeat, hopelessness, doubt, fear, lack, sickness, and evil report.

Speak of who you are in Christ and what you have in Him. Confess with boldness that you are more than conquerors in Christ. Speak out that you always triumph in Christ. Speak to your lack that God will supply all your needs according to Christ’s riches in glory. Speak to your sickness that by the stripes of Jesus you were healed. Speak to any hardship that you have been redeemed from the curse of the law. Tell yourself that you reign in life.

Proverbs 16:23, “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips.”

Proverbs 13:3, “Those who control their tongue will have long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.”

Proverbs 21:23, “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.”

Proverbs 15:4, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life.”

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