— By Barrett Vanlandingham
In my third article of a five part series titled “Set Yourself Free,” I want to look at one of the most difficult sins to overcome. Sins of the mouth not only cause problems for us in this lifetime, but they can also cause us to lose our soul.
James 3:6 speaks of the tongue in this way, “It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
In Matthew 12:36-37, Jesus says, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”
Face it, we all let things come out of our mouth, and then wish we hadn’t said it. A split second can cause us embarrassment and damage or destroy relationships that we have spent a lot of time trying to build.
In Romans 1:28-32 the apostle Paul lists several sins that lead to spiritual death including slander, malice, deceit, arrogance, boastfulness, and gossip. And then he ends the chapter by giving a warning to those who not only practice these things, but approve of those who commit such sins.
It is important for us to consider the alternatives of letting our mouths run rampant.
Paul says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs (Ephesians 4:29).”
Paul also reminded the Christians in Corinth that since God promised to stand by his people, they should purify themselves from everything that “contaminates body and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1).”
Paul was very well aware that evil words do not begin with the tongue or lips, but rather from a much deeper place. Jesus made mention of this fact in Matthew 12:34 when he said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Peter instructed young men with these words, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).”
That alone should be motivation for each of us to keep our attitude in check.
While the freedom of speech in our nation protects all of our rights, it doesn’t mean that God thinks all speech is okay. God is not a fan of complaining (Philippians 2:14-15), nor does He appreciate cursing of any kind, especially towards parents (Matthew 15:4).
Our actions and our speech should reflect an attitude of self-control (Titus 2:1-5), and our conversation should be full of grace (Colossians 4:6).
May God grant you strength to use your mouth to glorify Him always. Have a great week!
Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.