1Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. 3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
- Disproportionately Powerful
- Inherently Evil
- Humanly Untamable
- Contrastingly Productive
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
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.
Read God’s conversation with Moses about his mouth in Exodus 4:10-12
TAME THE TONGUE
Scriptures on the Tongue
Proverbs 10:19; 17:27,28; 18:13; 21:23; 23:7; Luke 2:19,35; 9:47; Matthew 9:4; 12:34; 15:19; Hebrews 4:12
“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
“The Dark Psychology of Social Media”
Jonathan Haidt, Tobias Rose-Stockwell
The Atlantic, Dec. 2019
Video & Articles
Dr. Michael Brown: askdrbrown.org
Dr. Hugh Ross: reasons.org
1. Read Proverbs 18:21. List various forms of “fruit” that come from speaking life over someone or something. Now list some “fruits” of speaking death.
2. What are some practical ways to bless people with our words? Think of specific words that can be used.
3. Do you know a good example of someone who is able to bridle their tongue? What’s different about their speech? What can you learn from them?
4. Before responding we can pause, ponder and pray about what we plan to say. What practical steps can you take this week to apply this approach more consistently?