"The Matter of Our Words"
"The tongue can no man tame. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison" (James 3:8).
"Set a watch, o Lord, before my mouth. Keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).
Nothing more reveals the abject need of humanity for Divine intervention than our capacity to speak. Created by One called "the Word" in Scripture, our verbal ability separates us from all other physical creatures (John 1:1-3). This should lead to great and glorious utterance, and if often does. Our tongue, however, often displays the fallen disposition of our flesh, running away from us in directions that we know lead to destruction even as we speak the foolish word.
The Psalmist well recognized his complete inability to govern his speech, presaging James' indictment of a tongue that cannot inherently speak in a manner pleasing to God. "Set a watch… Keep the door." Indeed, when the Lord Jesus told His disciples, "Without Me, ye can do nothing", no human capacity more appropriately fits into the indictment of our weakness (John 15:5). In this day, for example, we require our Lord to motivate, lead, and enable us to speak in a manner that glorifies Him, blesses others, and keeps us out of unnecessary trouble. Words are central to our existence - "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21). Regardless of how much we believe this truth, however, we cannot independently speak in a manner that fosters life. We require the power of God to empower words that bless rather than curse, a power that we must consciously seek if we are to speak living rather than deadly utterances. "I cried unto Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue" (Psalm 66:17).
We do well to pray for ourselves and for each other concerning the matter of our words in this day. We also seek the light of God's Word in this most vital matter of our relationship with our Lord and with people. Moreover, we encourage and challenge each other to present our tongues to the Lord for His watch, His keeping, and His empowering to speak as the voice of His Spirit. "Death and life" are at stake, as Solomon declared. Few matters more determine the course and quality of our lives.
"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."
Weekly Memory Verse
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.