"But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, & these make a man 'unclean'."
Matthew 15:18 tells us that the tongue actually reveals what is in our hearts. Words are an expression of our true nature. What we say reveals who we really are inside & can bring a blessing or a curse to those around us. Our tongue has the potential for both good & bad. It can either honor God or make Him grieve. It can praise God or cause a separation from Him.
"If anyone considers himself religious & yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself & his religion is worthless."
James 1:26 (NIV)
Somewhere in our lives, we are all probably guilty of gossiping & saying things that we regret later. If we don't give God control of our tongues, they can become harmful weapons that can slander, criticize & hurt others. If that happens, as the verse above tells us, our religion is worthless.
As i pondered this verse today, i know that i have been guilty of not giving control of my tongue to God many, many times over the years. But i realized recently that when God is in control of your life & you've asked Him to let His light shine through you, he is in control your tongue & gives you His strength to keep a tight rein on it. He also gives you His wisdom to know what to do & what to say. In a recent situation that came to mind as i pondered this verse, i was getting extremely frustrated with a person. I was about ready to give in to my frustration & let it all out verbally, angrily & defensively. Just in time, i heard, "Walk away. Walk away." And i listened & obeyed. I walked away. And i am so thankful that God lead me away from the situation, or i would have regretted what i was about ready to say.
When we hurt others with words spoken in anger or defense, we are letting our human nature be in control. But when we submit our lives to the Holy Spirit, letting Him be in control, our words & actions are kinder & more understanding.
The tongue can also refer to a unique language of a people or nation. If we are truly God's children, shouldn't we learn to speak His language fluently, so others will know we're related to Him? How awesome to have the resemblance of our Father be recognized!