January 4, 2012

The Power Of The Tongue

A person's heart is inseparably connected to his life in every sense of the word. Our hearts are like reservoirs that catch and store the thoughts released from our minds and the desires processed in our souls, making it ever significant to our speech and actions.

You see, the heart stands as both a receptacle and a tributary, both receiving and issuing, both storing and releasing; and of all other outlets, the tongue is its closest counterpart. Hence, whenever we speak of the tongue, it is fitting and maybe even necessary to also assess the condition of the heart.

Without doubt, the heart and the tongue are intricately connected, so much so that we are told in Luke 6:45 that "out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart [the] mouth speaks." Much like a steering wheel determines the direction of a car, so the heart dictates the path we choose. And like the gas pedal determines acceleration, so does the tongue determine readiness of manifestation. For this reason, the author of Proverbs directly follows up the warning given in Proverbs 4:23 to guard the heart, with a second caution statement this time concerning the tongue; he says, "Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you" (Proverbs 4:24). He says this with the understanding that though the heart is the ‘wellspring' of life, the tongue has power over both life and death (Proverbs 18:21).

James 3:2 says, "Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way." However, of all the members of our body, the tongue is the most difficult to control (James 3:7) and for that reason we must first start by controlling and guarding our hearts.

Practice applying filters to your heart and in so doing prevent malice, hatred and sinful thoughts from drizzling in. A person who understands the wiles of the enemy will also understand that it is necessary to do frequent inventory checks on his or her own heart. Hence the psalmist declares, "Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11).

Today, allow God's Word to penetrate the deepest crevices of your heart and bring light to the very darkest of places. Allow the Holy Spirit to align the contents of your heart with the contents of His Word and in so doing dispel doubt, fear, uncertainty and defeat. Then when the heart is aligned with the truth of His Word, controlling the reigns of the tongue will become easier, inevitably resulting in the tongue professing that which is in the heart - Life.

What we store in our hearts will always leak into our speech. Therefore store the Word of God as a treasure in the deepest places of your heart so that when stirred, only life springs forth.

  "Watch over you heart (guard) with all diligence (above all else), for out of it flow the springs of life (for it determines the course of your life)." - Proverbs 4:23 (AMP)

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29).   So God, you mean I should only say things that are helpful, that build others up, and that benefit anyone within earshot? And that when I say sarcastic things at the expense of someone else or cut someone down that you do not like that because they are your children and you love them?

Friends, that is exactly what our Heavenly Father is saying. We live in a world that focuses on the negative. The news we watch on TV is almost always filled with stories about bad stuff. I do not know about you, but that really affects my mind and heart. I find myself fretting over things just because someone told me something that might happen. It causes me to worry and steal trouble from tomorrow which totally overloads the troubles that today already has.

The truth is that most of us love a good story. We want to hear the good news. We like to hear kind things said about us. Why?  Because it is helpful, builds us up and benefits not only us, but also those around us.

Here is a challenge for you: Try going one day without saying anything negative, rude, sarcastic or hurtful to anyone or about anyone. At the end of the day, evaluate everything. How you felt, how the people closest to you felt, and how things were different. If you found that the people around you were better off and that you were better off, consider living the rest of your life with an effort to be uplifting to those around you.

As the old adage goes...If you cannot say something nice, do not say anything at all.

  "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." - Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

Also Focus on Self:
Self defeated. Broken. Disappointed. Hurt. Depressed. Feeling inadequate. When you find yourself experiencing these emotions, you probably are also speaking those emotions. Repeatedly saying things like: "I will never succeed at this." "I can't." "I'm too tired or sad to push through this." "I always lose and never win." "Woe is me this, Woe is me that." "I'm not good enough."

And as long as you keep speaking those things into the atmosphere, your mind, body and spirit will remain in that state and your every move and response will be rooted in those negative thoughts. Through careless words you have set an atmosphere of failure. Yet you wonder why you are not succeeding.

If you continue to talk yourself out of every opportunity, promise and open door presented to you, then you will continue on a cycle of self destruction. You will always see the negative in every person, and circumstance. Even worse, you will attract others with the same mindset. And by surrounding yourself with people speaking death into their life as well, you will find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into a dark place.

But you have a choice. You can turn it all around simply by taming and re-training your tongue. Make a decision to speak life only and not death. Make a decision to find and accentuate the positive instead of the negative. Find scriptures for whatever your situation is and boldly stand on God's words by making them part of your daily declarations. Some examples are as follows...

When you find yourself overwhelmed by the task or assignment before you, replace the "I can't'" with "I can and I will."

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

When you feel all alone and it seems everyone has turned their back on you and the enemy is attacking:

"For the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." Deuteronomy 20:4

When your resources seem to be dried up:

"The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing." Psalm 34:10

When you are feeling under qualified:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5

When you are broken and bruised:

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5b

Things may not look good in your life. You may be experiencing what appears to be a major defeat. But do not let it break your spirit and consume you. Speak life into that situation until you see a change. And make sure your inner circle consists of people that always focus on speaking life.

There is power in EVERY word that leaves your mouth - it is up to you whether the words you choose will build or destroy. Choose and speak life!

 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." - Matthew 12:37 (ESV)