Control the Tongue; Control the Rest

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Moving two preschoolers overseas is not for the faint of heart. 


I’d heard about the crowds on the streets of Asia and decided to buy a backpack type harness for our two-year-old. Turned out to be a good idea, as we walked everywhere within a mile radius of our residence. Hilary wasn’t fond of the restraint, but my attached leash/handle assured that I returned home with her every evening.  


Lloyd, one of our single friends, agreed with Hilary’s viewpoint of the “leash” . Together, they decided that when “Uncle Lloyd” was around, she would ride on his shoulders. Of course, Hilary loved her tall vantage point and could survey the crowds rather than examine their leg hairs. 


One evening, as Hilary sat perched upon Uncle Lloyd’s shoulders, we stood waiting on a street corner for the change of signal. Since this was a holiday weekend, streets were especially packed and even pedestrians were waiting through several lights before crossing. 


As we inched forward for our chance to cross, Hilary tapped “Royd” on the top of the head and queried,


Dunkle Royd, why did God make so many Chinese peoples?


Thankfully, most of the crowd either didn’t understand her or at least was polite enough not to show it. After all, we were the guests.


It seemed we’d managed to restrain her body, but couldn’t restrain her tongue.


James says we should start with the tongue first. 


For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” (James 3:2 NLT)


Granted, we can say that a two-year-old didn’t know to keep her thoughts to herself. I’m pretty sure that is not my problem.


I can’t help but wonder – 


If more attention was focused on Christ and less on what I could say, maybe I would find lots of my other problems solved as well. 


After all, Christ has given us an example to follow:


“…who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in HIs mouth; And while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” (1 Peter 2:21-23)


Did you ask Him to bridle your tongue today?


Did you follow His example in speech?




I know that whatever is in my heart spills off my tongue. Maybe that’s where we need to start – in revamping what I put inside. If I have purity within, then my mouth will speak with purity. If I don’t really trust You from the overflow of my heart, then my words will be doubtful and anxious as well.


May the Word of Christ live inside of me abundantly, so that whether I am singing, speaking or doing – it will be done thanking You.


I know that turning my heart to praise is quite a sacrifice. It takes conscious effort but it is one that I really want to make. Touch my tongue as You did Isaiah’s. Forgive me of all the worthless and unkind things that I say.  And send an angel to stand guard over my tongue, touching it before it gets out of hand.  I grant You authority over my words. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.