Wise Use of the Tongue

If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own willful way,
Dear Lord, forgive!
If I have uttered idle words or vain,
If I have turned aside from want or pain,
Lest I offend some other through the strain,
Dear Lord, forgive!
If I have been perverse, or hard, or cold,
If I have longed for shelter in the fold,
When thou hast given me some fort to hold,
Dear Lord, forgive!
Forgive the sins I have confessed to thee;
Forgive the secret sins I do not see;
O guide me, love me, and my keeper be.

Author: C. Maud Battersby


The Incredible Hulk

We know the Incredible Hulk was a fictional character on T.V.  When he got real mad about something he would transform into this raging green monster with superhero strength.

Anger is an ugly emotion.  When we use it, it not only hurts others, but ourselves.  It can transform our personalities and can make us destructive people.  When we are angry we use our tongues to spew out further anger that can wound and destroy others.  My temper has gotten the better of me many times, especially when I was a teen. 

  “Anger is one letter short of danger.”

An aged saint once said, “Many of us are like a pair of old shoes; all worn out except the tongue.”


“Many things are opened by mistake, but none so frequently as one’s mouth.”


“I am more deadly than the screaming shell of the cannon. I win without killing. I tear down homes, break hearts, wreck lives. I travel on the wings of the wind. No innocence is strong enough to intimidate me, no purity pure enough to daunt me. I have no regard for truth, no respect for justice, no mercy for the defenseless.  My victims are as numerous as the sands of the sea and often as innocent. I never forget and seldom forgive. My name is Gossip.  Just another bad use of the tongue.


Nick Sandmann, the Covington teen is a good example of saying nothing when confronted with something you are not apart of, but unfortunately, are in the same area as others who are causing conflict. He was unsure what Philips was trying to achieve when he approached the group with his drum.  He was not sure where Philips wanted to go, if he wanted to walk past the teen.  Nick reported that, he would have let him go.

Nick reported, ‘that as long as I kept my composure and didn’t do anything that he (Philips) would perceive as aggressive or anything to elevate the situation… ‘ he said his smile was a ‘peaceful’ way to stand his ground.”  Titus 2:6-8, “Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, not incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say to you.”  

The words we use reveals our hearts.  Proverbs 4:24, Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.”   What’s with the swearing…  People today, many of them young teens, seem to think swearing is — what — the in thing?  Some I’ve heard spout every other word as a #@&*!  Is that really what  you think in your heart?  Do you think it demands respect when you talk like that?  Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.”

This can be a good lesson for all of us when confronted with anything that could rile us or cause us to speak out when we shouldn’t, or want to give our opinion when it isn’t warranted, or just stay quiet until spoken to.  Turn the other cheek or just walk away.  Conflict avoided,  harmful words avoided, the hurting of another avoided.   Ecclesiastes 7:9, “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry for anger rests in the bosom of fools.”   James 1:19-20, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”


I have been guilty of this many times, but am learning to keep my tongue.  I would speak before spoken to, maybe to defend myself, when I really don’t have to, or just talking for the sake of talking.  I must learn to think first, be slow to speak if at all and be gentle when I do speak, to avert any undue angst or bad feelings toward another.  Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”   I’m not saying that I can’t defend myself if something I know to be true or untrue is being said, but just quietly use my tongue for comfort towards another.  Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”   It is a hard lesson, one that is an ongoing task, especially in the times we are living.   Proverbs 29:11, “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.” 

One last thing to say is when we speak of our Lord Jesus, don’t hold back.  SHOUT!  Psalm 100:2, “Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing.”   Psalm 126:2-3, “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing…The LORD has done great things…The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad.”

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, 
I will sing, I will sing, 
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, 
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord. 
With my mouth will I make known 
Thy faithfulness, Thy faithfulness, 
With my mouth will I make known 
Thy faithfulness to all generations,
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, 
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.

James H. Fillmore 1849-1936


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