Taming the Tongue
Scripture tells us that taming the tongue is beyond man’s ability to fully control (James:3:8). Yet every believer can make great strides in doing so with God’s help. Obviously, in addition to the Lord’s grace, this requires much discipline in the matter of self-control.
Let me offer a suggestion regarding the tongue that I’ve learned from more than three decades of ministering the Word to couples having difficulties in their marriage relationships. In almost every case, their situation was exacerbated by the way they talked to one another. Put-downs were common; condescension rampant. Not that those were their primary problems, but they usually added fuel to a fire already out of control. Emotions were often inflamed.
I often wondered what a difference it would make if they dropped the sarcasm and ridicule. Then I came under conviction for how I have, from time to time, spoken to my bride of 50 years. We’ve never had a rocky marriage, but there have been times when situations that may in reality have been only as tiny as grains of sand became more irritating by our responses to each other.
In our discipline of controlling the tongue, the practice (and I mean practice) of apologizing needs to cover, as soon as possible, what our tongues have let slip. The tongue, like a rudder, can also turn the ship of self around to what pleases the Lord: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians:4:32).
T. A. McMahon