the seven disciplines of the tongue…

This would be an excellent time to read through James 3.

James 3:6-10

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.  The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hellFor every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.  My brothers, these things ought not to be so.   

What a Word!  “The tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness…”  Don’t I know it.  From profanity to flat out evil words can spew forth from the prettiest mouth.

“The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body,”  How ugly one becomes when they defile the breath of life with their hateful words.

“Setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.”  This just really grabbed me this  morning and put weight on the whole matter.  Hell is in pursuit of our entire lives and has lit the fuse of destruction in our mouths.  Wow.  I’ve not noticed this phrase before.  What a strong and scary warning.  But I see this lived out all the time.  People who constantly speak negative, hateful, evil, complaining words often live lives filled with negative, hateful, evil, miserable things.  To think that one’s entire life, all the way to its end could be consumed by the fire of hell all because one chose to speak by the power of Satan day after day.

How then shall we live???

James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” 

The Seven disciplines of the tongue

1) Pure – Make yourself pure through prayer and confession

2) Peaceable  – Be peaceable with others.  Always be ready to diffuse a quarrel; never be willing to start one.

3) Gentle – Choose tender, delicate words when criticism is necessary.

4) Open to reason – Be willing and humble to receive criticism when it is necessary.  Be open to God’s wisdom, knowing that your way isn’t the only way He will use people for His glory.

5) Full of mercy and good fruits – Remember to show mercy and forgiveness when sinful man has sinned against you.  Honor your God of mercy by displaying the fruit of His Spirit which lives in you: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

6) Impartial – Think of the love with which you love your dearest, closest friend. Now love everyone that way. 

7) Sincere – Be truthful with your words.  I don’t just mean don’t lie.  If you give a compliment, mean it.  If you give a hard word or criticism, be certain it is warranted.  Do not be willing to speak hurtful, defaming words ever. Especially when they aren’t true. 

“Who is wise and understanding among you?  By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”  James 3:13

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