When to Speak


Oh the tongue, unruly little member that it is. So hard to control yet able to kindle sparks into wildfires so quickly. More devastating is the heart of man, so quickly devising opinions; so quick to judge and having direct access to the aforementioned member. This arrangement makes it difficult to control myself especially when I feel justified in believing that I have the answer. If only I were wise enough always to listen that still small voice of the spirit reminding me that the more I think I know, the less I really do. There is this vast array of knowledge to be acquired. There’s grandeur that we’ve only begun to understand. There’s perspective we aren’t privy to. Things that motivate the heart of others that we can’t understand because we wear different shoes and walk different roads. We are different.

There are times when it’s absolutely imperative that we speak our minds. There are times when we stand as a lone voice in the darkness proclaiming light. At these times, I won’t stay silent. I will never allow the opinions of others to sway the things I know to be true in my heart. Still, there’s a difference in speaking truth when necessary or saying things just to make your position known.

I think the balance lies in the heart. Are my words motivated by love or vindication? Am I seeking to correct in order to edify or am I seeking to put someone in their place?

Lord, let me speak only what I hear you speaking? God, help me to seek you before I seek my own version of ‘rightness’. I want to be a beacon shining light and compassion rather than a ranting, crushing, know-it-all. Let me be an encouragement! Make me more like you.

Unruly Tongue

From the outside looking in (or the inside looking out) I find myself wondering why I’m saying what I’m saying.

It’s that crazy moment when the spirit is screaming for me to zip the lip and I’m still going and realizing somewhere in the middle that I already regret what I let slip out.

Ah, unruly tongue, I want to wrangle you. I’d like to wrap my arms around the python and squeeze. Maybe it’s to prove that I have mastery over me. Maybe I’d like to show some fruit instead of being a cursed fig tree. Maybe I just don’t like messing up. Whatever the reason, can I undo what I’ve done? Can I suck the words back into my lungs and pretend it never happened?

“But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” James 3:8


At the end of the day, there’s grace. I’ll stand up again, awake and ready. I’ll try to tame my mouth but the truth is, I am utterly dependent on the Comforter. Only the Holy Spirit can remind me to wrangle my words and reveal to me the truth about my heart. He is my ever-present help. Through him I can make it through this crazy world with tongue and flesh in check, ready to lay my life down again on the altar of grace.

Then when I’ve messed it all up, he wraps me up in his love, showers me with mercy and covers me with peace. I can’t help but fall more in love with him daily. So I’ll press on today with this my goal, “O Lord, open my lips,And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.” Psalm 51:15. Maybe today I’ll learn to bite my tongue a little harder before it bites me.