When my grandmother came to Mexico as a missionary, she had a hard time learning Spanish. One day she went to the market. She showed her shopping list to the girl helping her and said, “It’s in two tongues (lenguas).” But she meant to say that she had written it in two languages (idiomas). The butcher overheard them and assumed she wanted to purchase two cow tongues. My grandmother didn’t realize it until she got home. She had never cooked beef tongue before!
Mistakes are inevitable when we are learning a second language, including learning the new language of God’s love. At times our speech is contradictory because we praise the Lord but then speak badly of others. Our old sinful nature opposes our new life in Christ. What comes out of our mouths shows us how much we need God’s help.
Our old “tongue” must go away. The only way to learn the new language of love is by making Jesus the Lord of our speech. When the Holy Spirit works in us, He gives us self-control to speak words that please the Father. May we surrender every word to Him! “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Ps. 141:3).
Lord Jesus, take control of my mouth today. Forgive me for careless, thoughtless, and angry words. Let my words bless You and others.
May the words we speak point others to Jesus.
A horse, though a very powerful animal, comes under the rider’s control with a small piece of metal—a bit—in the animal’s mouth (James 3:3). By means of the reins and bridle, the rider pulls the bit, which presses against the horse’s mouth. This causes the horse to stop or move in the direction the rider dictates. In contrast, no human can tame the tongue—a very small part of the body. However, the Holy Spirit can help us control our speech as we yield to Him.