What does your mouth say about you? In his book, I Declare War, Levi Lusko says it takes 72 different muscles working together to produce speech. Every day, on average, 16,000 words come out of your mouth. That’s around 860 million words in an average lifetime. What do those words say about you and especially about the condition of your heart? Let’s look at some Bible verses about speaking carefully.
A Tongue of Fire
One of the most famous Bible verses about speaking carefully says:
[The] tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:6 NRSV)
An untamed tongue is like spiritual arson. It sets fire to all around it. Gossiping, belittling others, swearing, bragging about ourselves, manipulating people, exaggerating things, complaining, criticising others, flattering and lying can all have huge effects on those around us. And ultimately, they hurt us too. We live in a disinformation age. The world is full of fake news. Miscommunication and deception are so commonplace we sometimes fail to notice them anymore. Language has always been powerful, but it now reaches faster and further. James’s warning has never seemed more appropriate.
Your Speech Betrays Your Heart
James goes on to say:
Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters,[a] yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh. (James 3:11-12 NRSV)
In other words, what you say betrays what is really in your heart. We may try to wear a mask in public, and put forward our best selves, but inevitably our tongue will let us down.
Giving Our Mouths to God
If we are concerned about our mouth says about us, then the best thing we can do is read Bible verses on speaking carefully, take in God’s Word and yield to his Holy Spirit. As part of that discipline, why not try out the twelve words suggested by Warren Wiersbe?
“Please” and “Thank you”
Using these three words ensures we treat others like people and not things.
They may be the hardest words, but they break down walls and build bridges.
“I love you”
Not the soppy version, although that might be appropriate in context. But as Christians, we are called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and even love our enemies. “I love you” is a powerful statement.
“I’m praying for you”
And be sure to do so. Don’t just say it as an automatic response to some news. Our praying in private for people helps us when we meet them in public.
Let’s give God our tongues and our hearts each day and ask him ensure that our mouths say we are here to be a blessing to others.
If you found this post on Bible verses about speaking carefully helpful, would you please do something for me?
Why not check out these posts from around the blog?
- Choose Joy, Not Resentment
- Putting the Bible into Practice
- Love Your Neighbour (Luke 10)
- Worship is … Obedience to God
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