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A Mission for Your Mouth

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler

tongueStop it!” I screamed, threatening violence if she did it again. An instant earlier, my mouth had been munching contentedly on a peanut butter cookie. Now it was launching ballistic missiles. What happened? I had been standing in the kitchen, balancing precariously on crutches after a recent foot surgery, when one of my children snuck up behind me and began tickling me. Not what I needed! But, really, did I have to threaten violence, overreacting to her little prank?

Our mouths can get us into so much trouble, propelled by emotions that move at lightning speed, unleashing primal urges. Why is it that most of us can control every muscle in our bodies but one? No wonder James likens the tongue to a flame of fire or a dangerous poison (see 3:6-8). According to Jesus, the tongue is unique because it is connected to the heart. Of course, when the Bible speaks of the heart, it is not talking about muscle tissue but about the very core or center of human beings.

The only remedy, then, for dealing with a tongue problem is to attend to the heart problem. We need more of God’s Spirit transforming us on the inside so that what comes out of our mouths will build up and not tear down.

In his book War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles, Paul Tripp makes the vital point that we are Christ’s ambassadors, his primary representatives on earth. Because of that, he says, we need to understand that God has a mission for our mouths.

What is the mission God has for your mouth today? Ask the Holy Spirit to shape your heart with his presence so your words will fulfill his purpose.

(Image courtesy of iprole at freeimages.com)

 
Originally published April 20, 2015.

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