Last week we looked at the first of three things that will help you remain strong in character: guard your heart. This week we look at the second thing: guard your tongue.
Think back to a time when you said something that brought a smile to someone’s face.
People can be helped by the words we say. But people can also be hurt by the words we say. We live in a verbal sword-throwing world. Instead of throwing around words that pierce the soul of another, we need to set the standard. Someone once said, “Example is NOT the main thing in influencing others; it is the ONLY thing.”
It’s so easy to get caught up with talk. The Bible warns us of the dangers of the tongue. Proverbs 26:22 says, “The words of a talebearer (gossip) are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.” Proverbs 11:13 says, “A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” Titus 3:2 (NKJV) says to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. Proverbs 26:20 says, “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.” Ephesians 4:29 says it so well: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
Sometimes we need to keep our mouth shut, even to people who are very close to us. Many years ago I was in a leadership position where I couldn’t share about some events that were happening. I was very close to a fellow homeschool mom. In fact, we spent several days a week together homeschooling our kids. She was a dear friend: someone I could trust wholeheartedly. But I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me to keep my mouth shut, even with her.
The only thing that kept me from not saying anything about the difficult situation was my time with God. I had to be intentional and prepare myself before the day ever started. It was hard, but it was necessary. In the process, I saw my faith grow stronger through it all. And years later this dear friend told me that she was often questioned during that difficult time about what I thought about the situation. But she could honestly say she had no idea. If she had known the situation it could have made it more difficult for her and she would have had to guard her tongue.
Sometimes you may be in a leadership positon where you know things you can’t share with anyone, even those se closest to you.
Be alert and guard your tongue. The tongue can be a destructive weapon. Or we can use the tongue wisely and encourage others.