The Tongue Reveals The Heart
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.” James 1:26
I would venture to say that my mouth has gotten me into more trouble than anything else. My mind fires things into my mouth and my tongue unleashes the fury. The tongue is a powerful tool and it can be quite destructive.
I have a friend who used to be an atheist and he held many opinions that opposed my own. His political views were vastly different and his views on religion were quite offensive to me.
I managed a fantasy football league in which he was signed up as a participant. I had several other friends from work who participated as well and some of them were not believers. We had a public chat on the fantasy football page, and we would talk trash about who was going to win or lose. The posts were typically made in good taste and everybody kept their comments PG.
One day, as the comments took their usual trash-talking form, my friend said something that I did not like. I responded to his post with a post of my own and things quickly escalated. The 1-2 sentence quips soon became novels, and we even took some of it offline. My friends became uncomfortable with our banter, but I wanted to prove that I was right. I was trying to testify about God, but I did it in the worst possible way. I was defending myself, not my God, and my words were scathing and ungodly. I was not a good testimony as I tried to rally others to take my side. I eventually realized I was not going to change my friend's mind, and he was not going to change mine. I was ashamed and felt guilty for all that I had said, but the damage was done. I left a bad impression with my other friends and one even asked, “Is that how Christians talk?” My heart sank at this comment, and I knew immediately that what I was doing was wrong.
I thought I was trying to do something great, but I deceived myself. My knowledge meant nothing because my words did not point my friend to my Lord. My words instead pointed to me, and I was puffed up with my own religiosity. I learned a hard lesson, and I realized my tongue must reflect my walk with God.
Where are you today friend? Do you run your fingers across the keyboard or run your mouth? Do you try to preach to others about Christianity in a wrong way? Do you do more bad than good with your tongue? The world is always watching and our actions speak louder than our words. What are your actions saying about you? May we not have a religion that is vain, and may our words and actions point people to Jesus Christ, not to our own wit or wisdom. Will your tongue hinder this world from knowing the Savior or will you lead them to the One who can truly save?
Stay in the fight!