Isaiah writes: ‘The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.’
Let’s face it; if you told a person everything you thought, you would hurt them or they would leave you. There are private parts of you. Maturity means you don’t have to say everything you think. Indeed, much of what you think hasn’t been thoroughly thought through! That’s why you need to pray and ask God for ‘a well-instructed tongue’.
Read these three Scriptures carefully: ‘Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.’ (Proverbs 13:3 NIV)
‘Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.’ (Proverbs 21:23 NIV)
‘Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.’ (James 1:26 NIV) There are two occasions in particular when your tongue can get you into trouble:
(1) When you’re angry. Emotional outbursts usually result in harmful comments you don’t mean and will regret later.
(2) When you’re tired. Exhaustion lowers your guard, and at such times thoughtless comments can slip out. Always wait until your judgment is clear and you can think things out before you speak. Paul said, ‘Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.’ (Colossians 4:6 NIV) What does salt do? It flavours, preserves, cleanses, and heals. And that’s how your words should be.