Have you ever said something that you wish you could take back? “The bad things people say with their mouth come from the way they think. And that’s what can make people wrong” (Matthew 15:18, ERV). “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose” (Proverbs 18:21, MSG). “The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!” (James 3:8-10, MSG).
You and I have the power to speak life or speak death. We have the power to encourage or destroy. We choose whether we yield our tongue to the Holy Spirit or let it run rampant. It is what we speak that reveals the goodness or the darkness of our hearts―not only to ourselves but to others. The Holy Spirit can guard my tongue only if I yield it to Him. He can stop anything wrong that is about to come out of my mouth. That ability to yield my tongue reveals the stage of my heart―whether it is striving to be more like Him or is spiritually cold and unyielding.
It is so true that with the same tongue we praise God and then turn around and speak badly of someone else. We need to guard our words as closely as we guard our other valuables. Our tongue can be a valuable instrument in God's hand, or it can be one to debase and destroy. It is my decision not only what I speak, but it is my decision if I let the the Lord change the attitude in my heart that my tongue has revealed to me.
”Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me,” David cried out (Psalm 51:10). It should be my cry, too. Not only will I yield my heart to be purified by Him, but I will allow His spirit to renew a steadfast spirit which will continually guard my tongue. In choosing to speak life to another, He will speak life to me.