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The Mouth

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: -1 Peter 3:10

My wife and I had a really nasty argument a little over a week ago. I said things I really didn't mean and I believe she did the same. However, even armed with that information (the 'not meaning' part) in my mind, I can't help but think about her words occasionally-- even though we "patched things up" that very afternoon. I suspect she is doing the same. I could excuse all of this away to some stress and pressure we are under: financial, health issues, the long winter, etc., etc... but the fact of the matter is that there are unresolved issues we must work on together as a couple to solve. I won't get into the stuff of which I refer, since some is of a personal nature, but I will say it's probably nothing more than any normal married couple goes through. The thing is this: I don't want our marriage to be 'normal.' I want it to be exceptional. Part of achieving that goal in our walk with Jesus as a couple is to stop having strife that involves the unrestrained use of the tongue in anger and its resulting long-lasting damageHe that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: [but] he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. -Proverbs 13:3

It's not just my marriage where restraint of tongue is needed, but in my everyday life dealing with people at random. Some are loved ones, others are acquaintances and some (the toughest of all) are people I just simply don't like.

Of course, I didn't reach this conclusion on my own through the use of my towering inferno of intellect-- God once more has had a serious hand in getting this message to me.

In the past few weeks, I have heard [what seems to be] countless renditions of sermons and Bible studies involving the use and abuse of the tongue. Interestingly enough, they also seemed to be aimed specifically at me! Even this very morning on the way to work, the Christian radio station I was listening to had a message on the very same subject being taught from the book of James. Some folks don't care much for James. Some thought it should not be included in the Bible-- as it lends itself to a more legalistic interpretation of salvation than one that is grace-based. I could not disagree more. I think it illustrates what should be the "proof in the pudding." Simply accepting what Jesus did for me on the cross is not enough. Truly inviting Him into my life as Lord and Savior brings with it duties as His follower. he has given us a job to do. I can't spread His love by spewing vitriol toward others from my lips, can I? Of course not. James does have quite a bit to say on the subject worth reading, meditating on and praying about. Consider the place of prominence he gives the tongue:

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. -James 3:5-8

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