Monday, June 24, 2019

Put a Lid on It

By Andrea Merrell

The tongue is a flame of fire. 
It is a whole world of wickedness,
corrupting your entire body. 
James 3:16 NIV

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I didn’t mean it.

Do you ever find yourself saying these words? I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to repeat them.

The tongue is a tricky little body part, and the words that roll off of it can either encourage and bless others or get us in a whole lot of trouble. The Book of James calls the tongue a fiery world of iniquity, full of evil and deadly poison. A troublemaker.


James also tells us that no man is able to tame the tongue or keep it under control. So, what are we supposed to do? How do we put a lid on it?

Just as with every other part of us, we have to submit ourselves to God, offering every member—especially the tongue—to Him as an instrument of righteousness.

The problem is whatever we say begins with a thought. It starts in our mind, ends up in our heart, and finds its way out our mouth. That means to get a handle on this unruly body part, we have to change our thinking and guard our heart. We need to pray as the psalmist did, Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3 NIV).

When we invite Holy Spirit to be in charge, He will help us speak words of blessing, not cursing. Words of kindness, not hate. Words of encouragement, not criticism.

It’s not easy, but keeping the tongue under control is a spiritual discipline that comes with spending time in God’s presence and in His Word.

The next time your tongue threatens to spout off the wrong words … put a lid on it.

Lord, may our words always edify others and glorify you. Amen.

(Photo courtesy of and rickymusafia.)




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