Controlling the Tongue

July 20, 2020

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one Body.” Ephesians 4:25

Remember the old riddle, “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” The answer to that question is simple. There is always someone there to hear it, because God hears it. In fact, there is always someone who hears every word you say and that is the Holy Spirit of God.

One of the ways that you can grieve the Holy Spirit is with the words that you speak. It grieves God’s Spirit when we lie. In John 16:13 Jesus called the Holy Spirit, “The Spirit of truth.” The Holy Spirit only deals in truth and will only lead you to speak the truth. We should always speak the truth in love, and love enough to speak the truth.

Perhaps the thing that grieves the Holy Spirit the most within the Church is not lying, but gossip. The Spirit of God expects us to exercise control over what comes out of our mouths. This includes not only what we say, but also when we say it, how it comes out of our mouths, and whom we say it to. There is a certain kind of talk that grieves God’s Spirit. Ephesians 4:29 calls it, “Unwholesome talk.” The word “unwholesome” is a strong word that refers to rotten wood, rancid fish, or withered flowers. It is the kind of talk that is so repulsive to the Holy Spirit it is like a stench in His nostrils.

The Holy Spirit only has one desire for us – to build us up. If God’s Spirit is living and working in us, that should be our desire for one other – to build each other up. Lying and gossip do not edify. They tear down and destroy. God hears everything we say. And it breaks His heart when we don’t control our tongue.

Dear Lord, thank you for giving me the ability to encourage others with my words. Help me to refrain from using my mouth for any unwholesome talk, and help me to keep control over what I say. Amen. 

Topics: Christian Living

Bible Reference

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.