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Controlling Our Tongue

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.1

“General Robert E. Lee was once asked what he thought of a fellow officer in the Confederate Army, an officer who had made some mean-spirited remarks about him. Lee thought for a moment, then rated him as being very satisfactory. The person who asked the question seemed troubled. ‘But General, I guess you don’t know what he has been saying about you.’ ‘Oh yes, answered Lee. I know. But I was asked my opinion of him, not his opinion of me.’”2

Controlling our tongue is one of the greatest challenges in life and one that we face daily. We are always going to be encountered with difficult conversations throughout our day, but it is important that we constantly remind ourselves that we are a continuous witness for Christ. The way we respond to these conversations will either praise God and lead others to Christ or discourage them and leave them with a negative view of who we are. As easy as it may seem to respond negatively or defensively when we are criticized, it is an opportunity to respond with grace and self-control.

Words are powerful. We can use our words to tear others down or build them up. Proverbs 10:21 says, “The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.” Let’s be wise and seek to please God in all our conversations. May our words show that we serve the Almighty God, and may others come to know Him through us.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, use me to be an instrument of your grace and compassion towards others. I pray that you would give me the wisdom to respond as you would to every conversation I encounter. May you guard my mouth from speaking foolishly, and instead may I constantly be a living testimony for you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.”


1.       James 3:9-10 (NIV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.