Tame Your Tongue
This is the final blog post, in a three part series, addressing key components to help you in your journey with Christ and with others. This blog post deals with taming the tongue. Most will automatically think I am going to address profanity. That is something we are to avoid as believers, but that is not the focus of this blog post.
Taming the tongue also includes different aspects of communication. Your words have the power to build up or tear down; to encourage or wound. This applies to the words you speak to others and the words you speak to yourself.
Proverbs 15:4 “A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life, but a perversive tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit.” Amplified Bible
Most of us spend hours on social media sites. Communication in these environments is restricted to typed words on a page. I have observed the many topics, debates, discussions and dialogues, and I have noticed something that I find very unsettling. For the purposes of this blog, I will comment only on what I have seen Christian brothers and sisters post, as we are held to a higher standard.
There appears to be a different set of rules when it comes to social media. The decidedly personal and vicious attacks on character and integrity I see on a daily basis, is appalling. I highly doubt any of the people I have witnessed behave in such a manner online, would ever speak to that person in the same way face-to-face. I have prayed and pondered this for awhile now and have come to this conclusion: because we are all safe behind our computer screens and keyboards, it enables some to become puffed up with pride and arrogance that tears down rather than builds up. It is a sad observation that personal opinions are being posted as facts and facts that are posted are challenged from the paradigm of opinion and emotion, rather than a thoughtful consideration and healthy dialogue around the facts (which often are backed up with scripture) and still the attacks persist.
Sisters, may I challenge you to tame your tongue as it flows through your fingers onto the social media platforms. Remember, you are Ambassadors for Christ. Encourage, uplift, exhort and share from your own experiences while extending grace and mercy to others. Of course, there will be those who want to argue or attack your character. Do not engage. If someone persists, block them as you do not need their negativity on your pages. If, though, someone points out a fact and can back it up with both scripture and practical application, be teachable and be humble in accepting this added information. Thank the person for bringing it to your attention and take it to God in prayer. We are all here to hold each other accountable and do that in love. Scripture is the standard against which everything must be measured. There may be times when God asks you to bring correction, in love, to another sister or brother. Do so without compromise but with grace and mercy. If your words fall on deaf ears, do not dismay as you have been obedient. Place that person in the Lord’s hand and leave them there. Let peace reign in your heart, soul, and spirit.
The second area I want to focus on is how you use your tongue against yourself. I am talking about the self-talk that runs through your head constantly. If you have never tuned in, I encourage you to do so. Pay attention to the quick thoughts that zip through your mind and repeat like a recording playing on a loop. Write down the 5 most common negative things you say to yourself. Now, take those statements and go to your Bible. Using a concordance or online resources (like Bible Gateway or Blue Letter Bible), find scripture verses that declare the truth about you in God’s own words. Write those verses down and then write out an affirmation statement.
Negative Thought: “I am unlovable.”
Scripture Reference: “God loves me with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Affirmation Statement: “I am lovable and loved by God, the Creator of the Universe. I am able to give and receive love first from Him and then from others.”
Sisters, I challenge you to go through this process with each of the top 5 negative things you say to yourself. Once you are done, you need to be on the alert and each time you catch yourself thinking or speaking those negative statements, counter them immediately with the affirmation statements backed by God’s word. Have those statements written on index cards if that helps you.
Jesus is the Truth and what He says about you is how He sees you. I realize you may struggle against the image He reveals. The conflict comes when His image does not measure up with the self image you have created, based on your life experiences. I encourage you to trust the One who calls you “Beloved” and not your own heart and mind. The more you do this, the easier it will become and eventually the incessant negative self-talk loop will be replaced with healthy affirming self-talk, bringing freedom.