Wait a minute, What did you just say? PT. 2

Now the tongue is a fire, and the world of sin is like a forest. And this very tongue, while it is among our members, can defile our entire body; and rolls down like a wheel and set on fire the course of our entire life; and in the end it is consumed by fire.

James 3:6 (HRB)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Power of the Tongue

As believers, we often overlook the immense power our tongues hold. We forget it possesses the ability to speak both blessings and curses and life and death. It’s essential to be mindful of the tremendous impact our words have on ourselves and others, especially when considering our most common sins are related to words. Whether our tongue is telling lies, cursingspreading gossip, engaging in idle chatter, exaggerating, or launching harsh attacks of slander and defamation, our words can cause immense harm. On the other hand, if we choose to use them wisely, our words can be a gift that brings tremendous good to those around us. Therefore, as believers, let’s consciously use our words purposefully for positivity, correction, and kindness rather than for negativity and harm.

Ya’aqov (aka James, the brother of Yahshua) in James 3:6 makes a comparison between the (tongue and fire) and (sin and a forest). It’s a powerful metaphor that highlights the destructive potential of our words. While reading this verse, it reminded me of the Smokey the Bear commercials as a child. Smokey’s slogan was “Only YOU can prevent wildfires!” This slogan rings true in this comparison. As followers of Yahshua, we are responsible for exercising restraint and control over our tongues, lest we ignite a blaze that consumes everything in its path. We must be vigilant in preventing sin from consuming our entire lives and spreading like wildfire.

Any of the sins of the mouth listed above can become a consuming wildfire of sin. For example, think of the implications of lying about your marital status or someone lying to you about theirs. This lie carries a significant risk of stirring up feelings of sensuality, encouraging sexual misconduct, and leading to adultery. Another example would be spreading gossip or slandering someone. These words could lead to long-term enmity, strife, fits of anger, rivalries, discord, and division, which are some of the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:19-21)

O YAHWEH, set a guard to my mouth; keep watch on the door of my lips. 

Psalms 141:3 (WOY)

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

Proverbs 12:22 (HRB)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Your Mouth is connected to your Heart!

Consciously using our words can prove to be a demanding and challenging task depending on our hearts and what’s in them. The teachings found in Matthew 12:33-37 enlighten us on the fact that the true nature of an individual can be deciphered by observing their actions, which are ultimately reflected in the fruits they bear. I encourage you to read Matthew 12:33-37 for contextual reference in this discussion. However, today, we are specifically focusing on the words of man. Yahshua explains in Matthew 12:34 that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” illustrating that our true feelings and thoughts will eventually come out through speech, revealing a great deal about our character and true intentions. It’s like a volcano waiting to erupt and pour out what’s been collecting and boiling inside.

Yahshua clarifies His teachings by asking a rhetorical question in Matthew 12:34: “How can you, being evil, speak good things?” He then answers in the next verse, Matthew 12:35, He answers, “The good man out of the good treasure of the heart puts forth good things. And the evil man out of the evil treasure puts forth evil things.

The Q&A from Yahshua presents the undeniable truth that an evil person is polluted inside, and their heart is corrupt, which prevents good speech. On the other hand, a good man is clean inside, and his heart is pure, which his tongue validates through clean speech. If your heart is puffed up with the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), filth will flow out. In contrast, good treasure will flow out if your heart is full of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Unfortunately, many of us tend to prioritize the things of this world over YAHWEH, leaving no space for Him in our hearts. Yahshua highlights the contaminants found in a heart NOT surrendered to YAHWEH in Mark 7:21-23. These contaminants include evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, greedy desires, iniquities, deceit, lustful desires, a wicked eye, blasphemy, pride, and recklessness. If these are the contents of our hearts, is it any wonder the foolishness that will proceed out of the mouth? If we do not surrender our hearts to Father, such impurities will corrupt our entire being and consume our existence like a wildfire that ravages a forest.

Is Your Heart Contaminated?

If you notice that your tongue is constantly telling lies, cursingspreading gossip, idly chattering, exaggerating everything, and launching harsh attacks of slander and defamation, you need a heart check. You need to seriously contemplate where YAHWEH and Yahshua fit into your life because your heart has confirmed to you by your constant word choice that it is indeed contaminated. We are not perfect, but as believers, we are required to examine ourselves. 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Or do you not yourselves realize that Yahshua Messiah is in you? If this is not true than you are rejected.

2. Like a sharp razor your tongue devises destruction, working deceit.

3 You love evil more than good, lying more than to speak righteousness. Selah.

Psalms 52:2-3 (HRB)

Death and life are in the hand of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21 (HRB)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Side note:

Have you ever experienced the feeling of remorse after uttering hurtful words to someone you love? It’s never easy to deal with the aftermath of a heated argument, especially when you’ve said things you wish you could take back. The weight of guilt and shame can be overwhelming. Still, it’s important to remember that words have the power to both heal and harm relationships. If you find yourself in a situation where you regret what you’ve said, it’s crucial to take steps towards making amends and repairing the damage caused. It’s never too late to apologize and work towards a healthier, happier relationship.

By David Edwards

Leave a Comment