James – What a book to study! It gets me every time with all the control your tongue-talk. I tell my 2 chatty daughters, “Your mouth is your biggest asset and your greatest downfall.” I know because it’s mine.
Mouths full of words, have this wonderful way of making friends and encouraging folks… but also getting in the middle of big messes. Like a size 9 stuck in my teeth! I remember listening to Ann Graham Lotz (Billy Graham’s daughter) speak on Sins Christian women sometimes overlook. She named: gossip, envy, jealousy, haughtiness, meanness, preferring one over another, seeing a need and passing by, exaggerating, hypocrisy, self-centered anger, ingratitude…worry. Ugh.
How does this junk come out of a believer? I’ve been thinking more and more about my words and how they effect others. How did those attitudes get in there to begin with? I’m pretty thoughtful, when it comes to what I eat, but what about what I gobble up with my mind? What I watch and what I listen to? I desperately need a well of good to draw from when I’m tired and stretched in every way.
Number one help is a heaping dose of Bible reading and listening to scripture. Then praise music and talking with Jesus. Beyond that, scrutiny of all other ingredients going in me… Do they pass the Philippians 4:8 test?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8
These truths will fill me up as I continue to pack-up mode 2 houses and take care of my parents. We are all pretty wiped out and sometimes short on gracious words. Ahh, it takes so much effort to guard the tongue! Well worth the effort, I’ll keep trying.