While reading the first volume of Donald Grey Barnhouse’s exposition on the Book of Romans, this segment caught my attention. Really struck a chord with me, as my ability to control my tongue is rather weak. Habits are truly hard to break, and bad ones are even worse…as they tend to slap you in the face all of the time. Sadly, we all have the problem where we revert to things we have done before. That is regardless of whether or not we have been attempting to change, or not!
Our Lord’s brother, the Apostle James, once told us:
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. ~James 1:26 NKJV
And he told us,
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. ~James 3:6 NKJV
And he also reminded us about this, as well,
But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. ~James 3:8 NKJV
Is our religion and our beliefs useless? All because we cannot control the carnal nature of our tongue? No, but it does give an air of hypocrisy in the eyes of those we are trying to be a beacon of hope for…doesn’t it? In their eyes we are, in no uncertain terms, full of crap! And yes, I can see that point of view, quite easily. The problem being is this: we are faulty creatures and tend to fail God daily. It is that simple…we are not perfect. Could God just spritz us with the very Spirit to purge us of all the evil and nature that we desire to be rid of? Yes, He could. But again, where would the fun and struggles be if everything were just handed to us without any effort?
We tend to use, in our common everyday language, the profane idioms and blasphemous uses of God’s name or title. We each have the abilities to overcome our carnal natures , but because our uses of the same make us feel good, better, or all important in the eyes of others, we continue to do so. Donal Grey Barnhouse, stated quite emphatically and wisely:
“The Word of God says that a man who would be able to control the tongue fully would be a perfect man.“
He reminded us that We were each saved by Jesus Christ and through such salvation we have been given such power to control our urges, desires, and carnal natures. A power which will grow day by day enabling us to change our desires, our verbiage, our passions. Much like the bit that is placed into the horses mouth in order to guide such a large and strong beast…we are much the same.
Though we be the same, we are also different. God places His Holy Spirit within each of us to guide and empower each of us to follow God and His Word! By this same token, This Holy Spirit is that bit that we place within the mouth of the horse…with one great difference – we each have free will, and we must be willing to subservient ourselves to God and His will! This is a conscious decision that we each must make. We cannot tame our tongues by ourselves, we like horses need help and guidance.
Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. ~James 3:10 NKJV
Our Lord’s brother, the Apostle James, reminded us that both good and bad comes from our mouths. Blessings and curses. We will in once sentence tell our wives or children that we dearly love them dearly, and without skipping a beat will curse out the gut who either cut us off in traffic, or can’t seem to get up to speed while merging. Seriously? YOU have the audacity to merge into highway traffic doing 65 mph or more, but you are only doing 35 mph????????
Well, you can tell what I think of such things! Pretty disgusted to say the least!
ANYWHOOOOOOOO…we do need to be more in control of our mouths, tongues, minds, and our natures in order to accomplish the greater good. ESPECIALLY with our spouses and our kids in the vehicle! You know, we tend to be more flippant with our language with those we are closer to than those we do not know. At least I have found this to be true for myself. This is where my toughest challenge lies.
Donald Grey Barnhouse also reminded us at the end of his chapter entitled, “THE POISON OF ASPS”,
An if they are not to be, it must be by our submission to the restraining grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ. May He give us grace to come for more grace.
We each have a task before us and that is to control our anger and our unnecessary outbursts. Not all anger and outbursts are ungodly, there is such a thing as righteous indignation. After all, did not Jesus turn over the tables of the money changers within the temple? Not all anger and outbursts are wrong, but we tend to misconstrue what we are suppose to do and then justify what we want to do. But, of course, that is another topic for discussion. And perhaps will require a greater ability to explain than I have at this time.
Give all of yourself over to God and be led by the Holy Spirit. Bridle your tongues, curb your thoughts, and submit yourself to God’s will! It will take time, but you will see a difference.
Godspeed on your quest, my friends!
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD