THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH
David prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, NASB).
Someone said that it is easy to “slip” with our tongue because it is in such a slippery place. The brother of Jesus wrote: “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 3:2, NKJV). Christ Himself said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
Words are vehicles of thought. They are an index into one’s mind and character. The person who has to resort to profanity, vulgarity, and crudities to express himself shows himself, regardless of education obtained and degrees held, to be a little person with a little mind trying to compensate for his inferiority by using what he considers rough, tough-sounding language. But as my sweet wife often says, “People of character are not rude, crude, or lewd”!
Of the tongue, James again said, “With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God . . . My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:9-10). People committed to living honorable lives do not talk in such a fashion. Instead, they follow the divine admonition: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). They strive to “let [their] speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that [they] may know how [they] ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).
Rather than using our tongues in negative, destructive, and irreverent ways, we should use them to express our love, adoration, and appreciation of God. “Therefore by Him (Christ, hf) let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15). We should use our tongues to praise God and to thank Him for our blessings and to ask Him for His guidance in our lives. We should use our tongues to speak words of encouragement and kindness to our fellowman. Parents (and especially fathers) need to use their tongues to teach their children the way of Christ and to bring them up “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Those who preach the gospel should use their tongues to “hold fast the pattern of sound words” (II Timothy 1:13). This means that preachers must “speak as the oracles of God” (I Peter 4:11), that is, what God Himself has authorized and commanded in His word. Regrettably, there are those who profess to be preachers of the gospel who do not believe there is a “pattern” to be followed in what they teach or in anything else having to do with the will of God! They take great delight in mocking the idea of God having a pattern by which people are to direct their lives. Little wonder they have no regard for “the pattern of sound words”! As I have said before, I would not want to be in some preachers’ shoes on the day of judgment.
Elders/bishops/pastors (in the New Testament these terms all refer to the same men) of the local churches are to use their tongues to teach the word of God, to encourage and exhort, and (when necessary) to warn, rebuke, and stop the mouths of those who teach things which they ought not (Titus 1:9-11).
In summation, we should not use our tongues to lie, flatter, gossip, speak evil of others, or to utter vulgarities and profanity. Rather, we should use them to speak words of truth, comfort, encouragement, kindness, and that which is in harmony with the word of God.
Perhaps none of us faces a greater challenge than that of using our tongues in positive, productive ways and making the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart acceptable to the Lord.
March 15, 2016