A Conversation with My Tongue

GossipEver wonder why God decided to give us a tongue? After all, he knew the mess we would make out of it. For some reason, he wanted sounds coming from our mouths for communication. And now I’m sure there are times he just wants us to shut up. What do you think? Does he ever get tired of our grumbling and complaining or our bad-mouthing someone else? He must.

Here is a recent conversation I had with my tongue: “Dear Tongue, it is oh so easy to spout out words before thinking about what I am saying. I wish we would talk to each other more often before we share our secrets with someone else. If we did that, I probably wouldn’t say as much. Some things should be kept between you and me. How about making a deal? Let’s check in with each other before we say something we’ll regret, OK?”

I’ve noticed a lot of gossip in the nursing arena. I’ve heard nurses say unkind things about their colleagues and patients. Gossip comes easily for some and will subtly suck you in. You may walk away wondering how you got hooked into a bad conversation. I’ll tell you how: When we don’t put a guard over our mouths, anything may come out!

Recently I felt compelled to speak in a conversation, but the Holy Spirit clearly said, “No, I’ve got this.” So instead, I talked to him while quietly listening to the other person, rather than disobey the Lord by speaking my mind. I admit it’s difficult for me to keep silent when truth is under attack. Nevertheless, God is teaching me when to speak — or notSigh . . .

I’m thankful God didn’t just hang us out to dry with the tongues he gave us. He speaks to us from his Word and shines light on the purpose and woes of our tongue. There is great wisdom in these Scripture verses:

  • James 3:8-9 (TNIV): “But no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” Holy Spirit, please take control of our tongues!
  • Proverbs 15:28 (NLT): “The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.” As Christians, I pray we will think before speaking, especially when we are tempted to say something unkind about someone.
  • Proverbs 11:13b (NASB): “. . . he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.” We all need people we can trust. Are you a trustworthy person? Can others share something with you and leave it there safely?
  • Proverbs 10:19 (NASB): “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” When I was a little girl, my teacher wrote “talks too much” on my report card. Imagine that! I’ve been struggling in this area for a long time.
  • Proverbs 15:23 (NLT) “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!” Lord, enable us to say the right thing at the right time. We can trust your wisdom and guidance.

Now, go and bless someone with your tongue!

–Skip McDonald, NCF staff

7 Responses to “A Conversation with My Tongue”

  1. shauna Says:

    Even though it’s been 2 years since this was posted, it is still a very timely and applicable lesson. This has been a year in which my wayward tongue has gotten me in sooo much trouble.

  2. Skip McDonald Says:

    Thanks Kathy for sharing. We all need to encourage each other to speak words of edification for the moment. May you use all the giftings God has placed in you for His glory!

  3. Skip McDonald Says:

    Amen Vicki! I rejoice with you in the victories that you are experiencing over your tongue. May you continue to receive God’s grace and power as you speak edifiying words just at the right time!

  4. Skip McDonald Says:

    Thanks for your encouragement Jennifer. Yes, tongue talks are so necessary. It’s easy for it to try and take over sometimes. 🙂 God bless you!

  5. Kathy SS Says:

    Skip, these are great words of encouragement… just when I needed to hear them. Growing up my nickname was “Chatty Cathy” and I too often still live up to the label. God told me he gave me this bold tongue and personality, and wants to use it… but under His control. I’m going to have a conversation with my tongue about being a blessing with fitting words. Thanks.

  6. vicki pearce Says:

    I’ve had the same epiphany….! This tongue has done damage for the enemy in the past and is now to glorify the Most High God. I have done no cursing for a while and that was God’s help…no slips or boo boos just real words, being purified. Cool word!

  7. Jennifer Comegys Says:

    Hi Skip,
    Whew!!! You are so right. Thank you for the Scripture to remind us. I appreciate how you offered prayer in relationship to the Scripture. I, too, have to have tongue talks. I’ve only met you a couple of times, but I could hear you saying what you wrote. May the Lord continue to bless you in your ministry.

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