When I became a Christian as a young teenager, I remember watching closely the men of our church. Most of them lived solid, consistent lives. They were good examples to a young person saved out of a non-Christian environment, and I owe them a debt of gratitude.

But one man in our church did not set a good Christian example, and he caused me great confusion. He was probably the most outspoken in expressing his commitment to the Lord. Not only did he give glowing testimonies, but he also collared people in the church and challenged them to a deeper spirituality and commitment.

Yet his speech was inconsistent. I remember that when he was a counselor at our youth camp he sometimes made off-color remarks. And on more than one occasion, as my Sunday school teacher, he made degrading comments about the pastor and others in the church. Once I even heard him use the Lord’s name in vain.

The apostle James said that cursing is out of place in a Christian’s life—like salt water in a freshwater spring or olives on a fig tree (Jas. 3:11-12). So let’s control our tongues. Then we can be sure that what we say will be consistent and will bless others.