Guarding Our Tongues, Part 2

July 25, 2019 at 12:03 PM 1 comment

In our previous article in this series, we introduced the facts of Scripture that demand that we guard our tongues. In fact, we noted that James, in his epistle, tells us exactly what pure and undefiled religion is, namely that it demands that we “visit” (do our best to care for) widows and orphans as well as to remain unsullied from the world (James 1:27).

How is it possible to remain unspotted (through sin) or unsullied from the world? Keeping our tongues in check is absolutely huge in this department. As we discussed previously, it’s not simply what we audibly say, but what we actually think to ourselves because as we noted, we often say what is on our hearts and minds. That’s where the sin starts. Saying it aloud simply involves others in that sin for which we may find ourselves having to apologize if we’ve said things in haste, without thinking, born of selfishness.

James doesn’t just spend a few verses in chapter one talking about the tongue. He revisits the subject again in chapter 4. Taming the tongue (guarding our tongue by guarding our minds) is to James, the epitome of walking with Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us from the moment we receive salvation. Christians who say whatever comes into their heads, regardless of how unpalatable or even evil it may be are not guarding their tongues. They are not walking in the Spirit.

I have said this before, but I have a quick wit, which often prompts me to reply with sarcasm. This is a form of arrogance whether people believe that or not. Sarcasm is used to put people down, to make them feel less than and inferior. Did Jesus ever use sarcasm? Jesus called the situation as He saw it and in every case, He judged correctly. He became angry when righteous anger was called for and yet His words were perfectly fitted to each situation. Yes, He called religious leaders a few names, but as God the Son, the Author of all Creation, He had the right to do so. He wanted to make them see their error and at times, this called for righteous anger because of how they were abusing their positions of authority over the average Jewish person of Israel. They needed to be called out and God in the flesh was doing just that.

But Jesus did not enter the sarcasm zone because He was attempting to open people’s eyes, not make them feel inferior. When I’ve gotten sarcastic, it was designed to cause people to be shocked into silence, to force them to realize what? That they are not as smart as I am, so they’d be better to simply stop talking. This is not a good thing to do and believe me when I say that the Lord has been and continues to work on this within me. I’m learning to at least try to patiently address things with which I disagree. In that sense, that is how God is working to help me guard my tongue, but I have a long way to go and I’m well aware of it.

Notice in James 1:26, James comes right to the heart of the matter when he says, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” Wow, really? Anyone who actually believes himself to be religious but has no control over his tongue is kidding himself. For him, James says, his religion is worthless. Worthless, meaning, it’s not real or authentic. It’s a sham, a game. Those people are claiming to be Christian but in their words and actions they are anything but Christian.

I go on social media sites mainly for news that one doesn’t find on the mainstream media (MSM). I have a good amount of followers and I follow essentially the same number of people back. I see people who have things like this in their profiles:

  • Christian
  • Patriot
  • Conservative
  • MAGA
  • KAG
  • Love the Lord
  • Christ Follower
  • Saved by Grace
  • etc., etc., etc

Then I see some of the posts they make and I cannot help wondering why they use such filthy language, including the F bomb? Do they not understand that they are a witness to the lost of this world and what are they telling the lost? They are telling them they are really no different from them because of the language they use and the epithets included in their posts. I think Paul and James would say, brothers/sisters, this ought not to be! I simply don’t get it. While I understand the anger that many feel toward the situations in our government today with the Left moving as far Left as possible and the constant attacks on President Trump, his family and patriots, conservatives and Christians in general, that anger must be channeled and submitted to the Lord. It is God who has the plan and it is God who will allow things to occur in our society that will either win the day or not. As I’ve said before, even if very good things happen under President Trump, it won’t last, not according to Scripture at any rate. Eventually, the situation and time will be perfect to release the final Antichrist into society. At that point, God’s judgment will fall onto the entire world. No nation will escape.

So we see that guarding our tongues (by guarding our minds and hearts) is a matter of utmost importance to God Himself. Christians are not going to be let off the hook if we do not guard our tongues. Jesus said the following in Matthew 12:36-37:

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (ESV)

Read that again please. Jesus says “by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Does this mean Christians will lose salvation? No, and Paul addresses this is 1 Corinthians 3:15.

If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (ESV)

Talk about saved by the skin of your teeth! A Christian who chooses to live for him or herself in this life won’t lose salvation, but they certainly won’t gain any rewards either. Such a tragedy that can be avoided. Do you want to stand before Christ at the BEMA Seat and lose everything except your salvation? Don’t you want to enter into the eternal realm with crowns that you can toss at the Savior’s feet? It all starts with controlling our thoughts and our tongues.

But let me try to cut to the chase here. Clearly, if our “religion” (relationship with Christ through salvation), is authentic, it must be seen in our daily walk to some degree at least. I hope you would agree with that principle because it is borne out in Scripture.

Guarding our minds and ultimately our tongues or what comes out of our mouths from our minds and hearts, keeps us in fellowship with God in Christ. If we say things that are sinful, we immediately break our fellowship with God. It is that simple and it will remain broken until we muster enough humility to confess our sin and He will forgive. If we do not humble ourselves, God will endeavor to humble us. If we continue to resist His efforts, He has the option of removing us from this life (1 Corinthians 11:30).

But there’s another huge reason I believe why guarding our minds/tongues is extremely good practice for the Christian. We previously referred to the fact that Satan cannot read our minds. For me, this is a good enough reason to pray silently, though there are plenty of examples in Scripture of saints praying aloud (including Jesus), so that is completely up to you.

If Satan cannot read our minds, we’ve stated that since he has watched humanity since the Creation thousands of years ago, it is likely he has a very good handle on what we think when we think it. Why? Because of what is written on our faces and the evidence of our emotions.

Have you ever seen someone who is visibly angry? Easy to tell, isn’t it? How about when someone’s full of joy or just plain happy? Also easy to see. We human beings convey our thoughts on our countenances and through our body language. This is not always the case but more often than not, it is that.

Most of the time, people read other people by the expressions and demeanor. We all do that. Sometimes, we’re right and other times, we’re wrong.

This same holds true of Satan and his fallen angels with a huge exception. They’ve had thousands of years to learn about us. It’s a safe bet that these enemies understand us better than we understand ourselves and others.

But, what if instead of worrying about situations, we give them to the Lord? What if instead of giving into doubts, sadness and anger, we follow the prescribed procedure outlined by Paul in Philippians 4:4-7?

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

The above text is HUGE. In fact, I’m familiar with some of it, but I’ve determined to memorize the entire text because it is a process that Paul outlines that each and every Christian should devote themselves to following.

First, we are to rejoice in the Lord. No matter what comes our way, we should do what Job did in Job 1. Paul then says our “reasonableness” should be noticed by everyone. This is the idea of forbearance or patience, not only toward unbelievers but especially towards other authentic Christians.

Notice also Paul says the “Lord is at hand.” I won’t get into that except to say I believe there is nothing on God’s eschatological calendar that we know of that needs to occur before He can return. I fully realize that there are many who disagree with that and that’s up to them. Debating it will serve no purpose, so let’s not. Even if you do not take that to mean what it clearly seems to mean, you should understand Paul to be saying that the Lord should always be on our minds. We should always live as if this is our last day or hour on this planet.

Now Paul moves onto anxiety. Even though Paul previously told Timothy that his anxiety he had for the welfare of the Philippians was commendable (cf. 2:20), I think it’s safe to say that Paul meant taking anxiety to the extreme where we become fretful constantly. We all know what unattended anxiety can do to people. It can ultimately destroy health. We should never become totally distraught over any situation. We should enter into the pattern Paul describes here in Philippians 4:4-7.

Isn’t this what Job, Daniel and many other saints did? They placed their concerns in the able hands of the Lord. What is the result of this? Paul answers that question as well. He says “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (v. 7). That is to be our portion IF we take the necessary steps!

If we are at peace inside ourselves, what will our countenance show? What will others see in us? Moreover, what will our spiritual enemies see in us? Other humans will wonder why we are so full of peace. Satan and his angels will wonder why we aren’t an emotional wreck because they can see what has befallen us. Will they eventually leave us alone for another time?

I wonder if this is what James mean when saying that we are to “Resist the devil” (James 4:7)? Peter also notes that our adversary, the devil walks around seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). How better to resist the devil than by proclaiming our love, devotion and praise to our God.

We’ll continue this next time because I want to get back to the importance of taming the tongue, something I (and probably you), need a lot of work on. Remember, it all starts in our minds and hearts.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Emotional virtue, eternity, Life in America, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming. Tags: , , , , .

Guarding Our Tongues Guarding Our Tongues, Part 3

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