I love it when God teaches me new lessons from my old struggles. I have always had a problem taming my tongue, which I know is a struggle that everyone shares because God's Word says that "no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison" (James 3:8). I have always, in my Christian life, prayed that God would help me tame my tongue and help me speak words of life and not death, but man, is it a battle! I can testify to Paul's words in Romans chapter 7 when he says that "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing" (v. 18-19). I have always desired to speak life, but it seemed like something beyond myself had control over my tongue and the words that came out of my mouth. Because I have always struggled with that sin, it has always been a thought of mine to just give up on winning that battle. However, I refuse to let Satan win. Since I know that I still have sin in that area of my life, I will continue to strive toward renewal until I'm perfect or until I die. It is definitely a battle worth fighting! Even if I feel like I will never be successful in always speaking life and never speaking death, I know I will not go down without a fight in this spiritual war. Our words are powerful; they can change a person's mood, attitude, day, lifetime, or eternity!
These are some verses that I have prayed or are currently praying through that God has used to change my speech and really think about the words I say.
"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks...But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." Matthew 12:34b & 36
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29
"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." James 3:9-10
"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1
"A man of knowledge uses word with restraint..." Proverbs 17:27a
"The tongue has the power of life and death..." Proverbs 18:21a