God created man and woman in his own image, and put them in charge of every creature of the earth (Gen. 1:27,28). Without a doubt, man was to be the crowning achievement of all of God’s creations. Man is the most cunning creature that inhabits this green earth. Being made in the image of God, man is intelligent beyond all comprehension, for he has subdued and tamed all of nature to one degree or another. He is able to live and thrive from the frozen arctic to the burning sands of deserts, from the high mountain peaks to tropical isles. It would seem that there is not much man cannot achieve, if he has the right motivation. The one thing that seems beyond man’s realm of control though, is his tongue. In James 3:8-10 we read, but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue, we both bless God and curse our fellow man. God is not at all happy with this situation, for James tells us such things should not be. I think most Christians would not even think of committing murder, robbing a bank, defrauding his neighbor, or running off with a friend’s wife, yet will sin daily and thoughtlessly with his tongue.
Hate is a pretty strong word and when God says he hates a thing, maybe we should pay close attention. God hates many things that men do and quite often the tongue is mentioned. Proverbs 6: 16-19 tells us seven things that God hates. He hates a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, wicked imaginations of the heart, feet that run to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren. Of the seven, three involve the tongue. Also we should note that God puts all liars in the same category as cowards, murderers, unbelievers, the abominable, sexually immoral, sorcerers, and idolaters. They all shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Rev. 21:8). Sins of the tongue are therefore not petty, but serious breaches of God’s law.
Tale bearing or gossip is another biggie that involves the tongue. Let’s face it, people love to talk, and when people get together the natural impulse is to gossip about someone or some thing, it seems. Even when something is true, if it hurts someone, then it should not be told. Idle gossip is not harmless. Gossip only adds fuel to the fire and it spreads bigger and hotter, but without fuel, the fire will soon go out. Likewise, when there is no talebearer, strife will cease (Prov. 26:20). Gossip never helps, and often it does irreparable damage.
Another sin that can be attributed to the tongue is silence. How, some may ask, can being silent possibly be a sin? Many say “I don’t want to get involved” when asked to stand up for what is right and tell the truth. Sometimes keeping our mouth shut is the cowards way out, as opposed to standing up and speaking the truth, no matter the consequences. Silence is not golden when we should be spreading the gospel to the whole world as we are commanded (Mark 16:15). The gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news this earth has ever been blessed with, and we should never let our silence fail to proclaim it. The tongue can indeed be evil, but depending on our control. it can be the greatest of blessings.
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00. If anyone has questions: please call 270-657-2455.
Brother Richard Sitz speaks on the first Sunday of each month and Crittenden Drive Church of Christ has graciously supplied us with a host of guest speakers for the remaining weeks of the month. We invite one and all to come visit with us and be uplifted by these fine presentations of the “Good News” of God’s holy word.