For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 1 Peter 3:10 (KJV)
I was praying the other day and found myself saying, as I sometimes do, that God has given me my tongue to glorify Him and not to speak guile and declaring my commitment to measure my words and use them to glorify God in all circumstances. I knew this was in the bible and that the word guile meant bad, evil and ungodly words. Guile is such an old word that we don’t really use today. It was used only eleven times in the entire old and new testament, so even then, it was a word that was infrequently used, and every time it was used it was associated with the negative, the ungodly and evil. Psalm 34:13 says, ‘Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.’ Guile is another word for deceit, deception, dishonesty and lies. The dictionary defines it as dishonest behaviour that you use to deceive someone.
Our tongue is a part of our body like all the others which has been given to us by God and the bible says we are to glorify God with all of our body. I love the scripture where Jesus says in Hebrews 10:5-7), ‘sacrifice and offering you did not desire but a body you have prepared for me….to do your will, O God.’ However, the one member in our body that gets us in so much trouble is our tongue and the words that come out of our mouth. James 3:5-8 describes how much trouble our tongue can get us into if we do not allow the Holy Spirit and the word of God to tame our tongue. He says, ‘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 (can be) a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it (can) defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is (can be) set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue (but the Holy Spirit and the word of God can). It is (can be) an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.’
I remember driving home and thinking about using my tongue only to glorify God by allowing it to only speak words given to me by God – words that build up, encourage, edify; words that declare and establish the promises of God in my life, my family and here on earth. I did a quick evaluation of the last few days and I could not say all my words had glorified God. So, without realising it, I unconsciously found myself holding my lips together with my hand and not letting go of my words till I was ready to speak the right words. It was very funny but I think it is something we all need to do from time to time to tame our tongue to glorify God and in that way set the course of our life in line with Gods perfect plan.
James 3:2 says, “For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.”
So let us allow the word of God and the Holy Spirit to tame and guide our tongue so we can glorify God with the tongue He gave us. The tongue is a good thing when used in a godly way, without deceit but speaking the right words. It takes time to tame anything but as you continue trusting the Holy Spirit and picking yourself up when you fall, eventually it happens. So, I encourage you to hold your lips every time you feel you are about to say something dishonest or will not glorify God.
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