November 29th

The Tongue & Transformation

20But you have not so learned Christ, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. 29Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  Ephesians 4:20-25,29-31 NKJV 

3But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 18And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord  Ephesians 5:3-4,18-19 NKJV 

Ephesians 4 and 5 contain many helpful steps we can take to help foster the Holy Spirit’s renewal of our minds.  A major part of our transformation to the “new person in Christ” is linked to the kinds of words we speak.  James reflected on the difficulty of gaining control over the tongue in James 3.  By yielding to the Holy Spirit, we can be successful in taming our tongues!  

The rule of thumb that Paul used was “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (29).  He gave several examples of things we should not be speaking, including:

Paul also gave several examples of things we should speak, including:

If corrupt speech has been a problem for you, I encourage you to start each day by yielding your tongue to the Holy Spirit and asking for his conviction and strength to speak good words.  If you have some slip-ups along the way, don’t let the devil jump in with condemnation.  Simply repent, ask the Lord to cleanse you from the bad words and re-yield your tongue to the Holy Spirit.   

It may take time to re-train your speech patterns, so be patient and don’t give up.  You can also ask the Lord for opportunities to speak good things to people.  You might be amazed at how much good you can do in peoples’ lives by using good words!  Consider these examples from the scripture: 

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25 NKJV 

A man has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23 NASB 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I surrender my tongue to you today.  Please help me to speak only good things with my mouth.  Please convict me of any evil words I may be tempted to speak.  Please strengthen me to use my words wisely to your glory.  Thank you, Jesus.  Amen.”