If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth. – Proverbs 30:32
Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should. Just because I know it, doesn’t mean I should say it. “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” –1 Corinthians 10:23-24
How many times have we said something out of our lips that we wish we could take back? Maybe we put down another by way of slander or maybe we revealed something of another’s life told to us in secret that was not meant for the recipient’s ears. For we know it is bad in itself to think ill but we know that it is much worse to speak it. For speaking it implies an approval to the evil thought and a willingness to infect others with it.
You say, “But that’s my right! I’m not going to let anyone censor me!” Yes, my brother or sister, it is your right. It is lawful. However, if you profess to be a Christian, we ought not merely consider what is lawful for us but what is beneficial, and for the use of edification. The Christian ought to be concerned about his neighbor’s welfare considering his own conduct in order not to hinder their neighbor’s holiness, comfort, or salvation.
We ought to say to ourselves, “Today I will control my tongue and not let it control me. Exercise a Holy violence over yourself if necessary and put your hand on your mouth! “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but 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 3:7-10. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. –James 3:2
Those who take care to consciously choose to control their tongue demonstrate a sign of true grace. The word “perfect” in James 3:2 doesn’t mean he is literally perfect as in will never make mistakes again but it means that man or woman is upright. Is not uprightness a characteristic of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in which we are aiming to become more like? For the wisdom and grace which enable us to rule our tongues will also enable us to rule our actions.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. –James 3:13-18 Amen.
Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.
Learn more about Jason M. Alexandre here.