Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Bridling the Tongue

By David R. Ferguson


    James 1:26 [NAS] says, “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” This isn’t just referring to what we say, it also refers to what we choose to post and share on social media. Pay attention to what you are saying. Your speech is one of the most important parts of your witness.

    No matter where you are, at home, at work, at play, at church, or in any organization or group you decide to join, your tongue reveals what’s in your heart. In fact, an argument can be made that what one posts and shares on social media is even more egregious than what we say.

    James also writes, “So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of unrighteousness; the tongue is set among our body’s parts as that which defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by Hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one among mankind can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:5-8 [NAS] Since the tongue is untamed, sometimes we say things we immediately regret saying. So, it’s worse to post vile and despicable things than it is to speak them because posting involves forethought. When we do so, we are making a conscience choice to say something that is intended to hurt others. It isn’t simply reactionary as can happen with the tongue.

    The reason we react the way we do, however, is because of the condition of our heart. Remember, our Lord and Savior said, “For the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart.” He then added, “But I tell you that for every careless word that people speak, they will give an account of it on the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37 [NAS]) For Christians, we need to make doubly sure that we bridle our tongue and think twice before posting and sharing on social media. We must do all in our power to live our life for Jesus Christ, never forgetting that we “were once darkness, but now [we] are light in the Lord; walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8 [NAS]).

    May God bless you as you serve Him!

- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Mentor Church of Christ in Mentor, OH.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://mentorchurchofchrist.com/ or davidferguson61@yahoo.com

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