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To Be An Arsonist or Not To Be


By Linda A. Knowles

"Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything," (Proverbs 13:3 NLT). "The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences," (Proverbs 18:21 NLT)

The tongue may be a tiny member of the body, but oh the disasters it can cause without practicing self-control. The tongue has within it the power of life and death. The tongue can tear down or build up, curse or bless, complain or speak gratefulness, tells lies or tells the truth... This tiny member of the body causes many problems when left unchecked and when left untamed.

We need to practice self-control, and with the Holy Spirit living within us, we cannot say we can't control what we say because self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So since the Holy Spirit lives within us, we do have self-control. We make the choice.

No one can make you swear. No one can make you tear someone down with your words. No one can make you use ungodly or unwholesome speech. You and only you choose how you will react in your use of speech. Let your speech be filled with saltiness and filled with grace. God will not hold someone else accountable for your words; He will hold you accountable. We are told in Romans 14:12 (NLT), "Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God," and in Matthew 12:35-37 (NLT), Jesus said, "A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

"In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest on fire. The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell," (James 3:5-6).

What you say does have consequences.

For example: If you are lying to someone and that someone finds out you are lying, you will have destroyed the person's trust in you, proven yourself to be untrustworthy, and if you ever speak to that person again, there will be doubt as to whether or not you have told the truth.

As children of God, our speech is to be different than the world's speech. Blessings and curses should not be flowing out of the same mouth because the Word of God tells us in Colossians 4:6, "Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone." In Ephesians 4:29 (BSB), it states, "Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen."

If you were face to face with Christ, standing there in front of you, would you speak carelessly, not caring what Christ would say or would you be careful of the words you speak if you were standing face to face with Christ? We may not be able to see Jesus, but He did say He would be with us until the end, which means He is with you no matter what you are doing, no matter where you go, and no matter who you are talking to.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the All-Knowing and All-Seeing God. You are holy, and You have commanded me to be holy. You are pure and wholesome, and You command me to walk in Your ways. Help me to always remember that no matter what I say or do, You are with me, and because I am Your child, I represent You. Help me to never bring shame to You or Your name. Let my speech be seasoned with salt and filled with grace as Your Word commands. Fill me with Your words so I may build others up, and Father, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and work the fruit of self-control within me. Help me to choose wholesome speech, pleasing to Your ears. In words and actions, Lord, make me more and more like You so I may act wisely amongst those who do not believe and be encouraging to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus' Name, Amen.



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