Taming the Tongue
Posted on September 16, 2021 by Catey Stover in Victory Call
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. Proverbs 18:8
The theme this year for the conference season at America’s Keswick is Unleashing Hope. Dr. Tony Hart recently preached a powerful message on the importance of taming our tongues. Something none of us escapes. It takes awareness, intention and effort.
One aspect Dr. Hart shared was about gossip and how destructive it is. We have all experienced the hurt of being talked about or even lied about. It’s no fun. And truth be told, I don’t think I’d be wrong to say we have all probably been on the other end too, where we were the ones doing the gossiping.
It is an easy trap to fall into if we are not being very attentive to our tongue.
Dr. Hart offered 3 ways to identify gossip.[i] They are clear and practical and I was eager to pass them along to my Victory Call sisters.
- It’s bad news — it reflects poorly on the person
- It’s behind the person’s back —
- It comes with a bad heart – It’s not shared with a heart that seeks to help
This is so good, please go back and read these three points again. Commit them to memory. Use them as a filter.
Gossip can be true. Some people think that if it’s true it’s not gossip. Wrong. If it is bad news, behind the person’s back and comes with a bad heart – even if it is true – it is gossip.
It takes at least 2 people to gossip. The obvious one is the person speaking, but the other person listening – even if they don’t say a word — is also gossiping because it takes a transmitter and a receiver for gossip to spread.
…no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:8-10
Do you want to be a powerful influence in your family, church, neighborhood, community or school? Decide not to initiate or participate in gossip.
Do you want to stand for what is right even if you have to stand alone? Decide not to initiate or participate in gossip.
Do you want it said at your funeral, “She never said a bad word about anybody”? Decide not to initiate or participate in gossip.
Do you want to be characterized as an encourager? Decide not to initiate or participate in gossip.
Do you want to love your neighbor as yourself? Decide not to initiate or participate in gossip.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3
Oh Lord, please keep my mouth shut when criticism, gossip or discouragement beckons to be spoken and open my mouth wide with praise, encouragement and thankfulness.
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. -1 John 4:9