In James’ letter to the churches, he warns us that the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison, and that unless we get control of it, we will not be of much value in the Kingdom of Christ. Almost every list of sins in the New Testament contains at least one reference to improper use of our mouths. Considering the following promises will help us fine tune our faith for those particular times when we need to gain Christ-honoring control over them.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; so his steps do not slip. Psalm 37:30–31
We are righteous as we commit our futures to all that God is for us in Jesus—who secures God’s blessing and teaches us how to live with each other. For it is right to trust God so much that we live in obedience to his instructions. Being righteous means we know God. For how could we trust someone we don’t know? We know him to be wise, powerful, gracious, and merciful—in other words, he is holy. We know he created so we can experience and appreciate the fullness of his glory—he is good. We know he decides to reward those who love or hate him—he is just. Because of our knowledge of him, we agree with him that his way is the best way to live. So as we delight in God’s instructions, we will speak wisely and justly. Our speech will be wise in that it will convey to our listeners God’s prescription for happiness; it will be pure, gentle, peaceable, reasonable, merciful, constant, and sincere speech. Our speech will communicate justice in that it will not work to deprive anyone of God’s gifts. Rather our speech will affirm and sustain God’s sovereign grace, causing the humble to hope and the poor to persevere.
O Lord, you are a God of wisdom and power, righteousness and justice. Grant me the confidence and courage to stand with you and speak in accord with your character. Amen.