Friday, July 6, 2007

The Instructed Tongue

I love to talk. Always have. I talk to whomever is listening. My husband, the girls, the dog, the flowers. When there isn't another living thing around yes, I talk to myself. I would love to know just how many words I say during the day. To make it worse, I talk fast. Combine that with my southern accent and you've got quite a show. :)

Unfortunately that combination can be quite deadly. When I'm "on a roll" and the words are flying out of my mouth, I don't always think through what I'm saying. God taught me the hard way several years ago to be more mindful of what I say. There are always consequences to our words.

Yesterday I read Isaiah 50 during my quiet time. Verse 4 became my verse of the day. It says: "The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."

There were 2 parts to this verse that I feel led to write about, but for today it's the instructed tongue. A tongue that speaks what God would have it to say. That hit me hard. Of all the conversation I have during the day, how much of it is instructed by God? How about my thoughts? Are they instructed by God? They have to be if my tongue is to speak as one that is instructed by God!

We find over and over in the Proverbs verses that relate to the tongue/mouth. Here are just a few.

Prov.4:24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk from your lips.

Prov.12:18-19 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Prov.15:1 & 4 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Prov.16:23-24 A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Prov.20:15 Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

Prov.26:20 Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.

I'm guilty of forgetting how powerful my words are. Just as important, the tone of my voice. God showed me that my gift of gab was okay, I just needed to make sure that what I was gabbing about was pleasing to him. To make sure I had a purpose for saying what I was saying. (And that purpose better be related to HIM)

To be honest, I thought, how in the world can I function like this. But, I've started to pray that God would give me an instructed tongue and only allow me to speak what He would have me to. It is changing my conversation with my children, my husband, my friends..everyone. It's making a deliberate, conscience effort to THINK and PRAY before I speak. For some of you this will probably seem a little weird, and for others you probably got this lesson a long time ago! (IF so, please comment on what God showed you, any verses and what you learned during that time.)

Isaiah 55:11 is a well known verse: "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

I don't know about you, but I don't want to use empty purposeless (is that a word?!) words anymore. I want more than ever for the words coming out of my mouth to have godly consequences. I want them to achieve the purpose God sent them for. I want an instructed tongue.


~Ang said...

An area I always feel I have to continually surrender! Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. God is helping me as I surrender. Anyway, I appreciate the Isaiah 50 verse because on one particular occassion I was chastised for not saying anything. I told this person that I only speak when God tells me to speak something. (Or atleast that is what I was trying to do). Then this person looked right at me and said, "oh sure play the God card." What is a God-card anyway??!! I was dumbfounded and wondered for the longest time if what I was doing was right. Anyway, finally you have a verse I can back it up with! I will treasure it in my heart because God wants us to be slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19).
As always you encourage me so!
Love ya!
Hope Chad is feeling better and the family is settled!

Amy said...

Hi Friend,

This post hit home with me in many ways! The "For Women Only" study has focused my attention on how I speak to my husband, especially, but others as well. This is a great verse to pray for myself and others. Thanks for the practical and penetrating words!! I think He's answering your prayers!!! ;)

You are a blessing! I love you!

Meg said...

Amen, sister! I want an instructed tongue too.

Kate said...

I was yelling at "John" the other day. Sharp tone and sharp words. My thoughts immediately went to the tone I portray on my blog. I thought to myself, "I am acting like a hypocrite." and I stopped the yelling and apologized. You girls just make me want to live as an authentic Christian.

Thanks for the reminder.


Kathy said...

Good insights. I liked the idea of an instructed tongue. Words are so powerful - God created with just his words - and we need to tend to ours carefully. Thanks for sharing!

Darla said...

Instructed tongue, mind, attitudes...oh my..I could go on and on...I am always at HIS mercy..glad HE provides that new every morning! Striving to be more like HIM, Princess to Princess...Darla

Thanks for visiting my blog..and for commenting!

Anonymous said...

I have a problem with talking too much. God has been teaching me A LOT about that specifically in the passed couple years when I was probably the one everyone was talking about. lol. Something that God has taught me recently is that whenever you are speaking, make sure you are bringing glory to Him. I have realized that when I say things about people, usually I am saying them trying to make myself look better. My own insecurities lead me to say things that would make another person look lesser. That's been a hard thing to admit. When my focus is to bring glory to Him and not myself, my conversation is a lot more productive. I hope that makes sense! As Ang would say "thanks for being real!"

~Ang said...

Hey girl! You have been tagged!
Come over to my blog and check out the details!
Much love,