Isaiah 6:5reads, "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."
I believe that the verse above is the perfect way to start this paper. For, you see, recently the Lord laid upon my heart a few things concerning one area of the Christian walk that we sometimes overlook -- our mouths. As Christians we steer clear from the more obvious sins and keep our bodies and minds under God's rule, yet sometimes we don't practice that same diligence in bringing our tongue under the Lord's subjection. In what ways do we sin with our lips? Gossiping, lying, murmuring, complaining, backbiting, slandering, cursing. All these are things that we, as followers of Christ, ought not to do! And it is a BIG deal to the Lord how we use our lips as is evidenced by the numerous verses that are found in the bible concerning this subject. So if you know that you are guilty of committing certain transgressions with your mouth, I hope that you will read this somewhat lengthy paper and that your heart will be convicted and that you cry out like Isaiah did and like I did, "Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips," and that you then repent of that sin and refrain your tongue from evil.
The Lord hates it when we use our mouths for evil.
Oftentimes people give sin different classifications. Everyone will agree that murder, stealing, idolatry, adultery, et cetera, are bad, but people are usually less sensitive regarding what comes out of their mouths. They may not think twice about telling a "little" lie or gossiping over coffee with a friend. But God's Word shows us that the Lord hates it when we use our mouths for evil and that what we say is just as important as what we do. Let's look at a few verses.
Psalm 50:23, "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God."
Proverbs 8:13, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."
Proverbs12:22, "Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight."
Jeremiah 9:3, "And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord."
Matthew 15:11, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."
Matthew 15:18, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man."
James 1:26, "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 3:10, "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."
In Revelation 21:7-8, God puts liars in the same category as murderers. We read, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death."
So we see that how we use our lips is of the utmost importance. What we should be doing is edifying, encouraging, praising the Lord, and speaking words of truth. That is how we glorify God with our mouths.
Words and the thoughts behind them are powerful and are of grave importance concerning your very soul.
Have you ever met someone and your first impression upon seeing them was one thing, but then when they started talking and you got to hear what they had to say, your opinion of them changed for the worse? That is because the truth of who we REALLY are comes from within. Once our lips start flapping, our true characteristics show. Take heed that you have your tongue in check. Not only is the world listening and observing, but also so is the Lord.
Proverbs 13:3, "He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction."
Proverbs 15:4, "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit."
Proverbs 18:7, "A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul."
Proverbs 21:23, "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles."
Ecclesiastes 5:2, "Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few."
Matthew 12:36-37, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
Do not participate in gossip.
The definition of gossip is "One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler." Christian, you should not start gossip, nor should you give an ear to gossip. If someone comes to you and confides something to you about what is going on in THEIR life (a problem or concern), as a friend you should not repeat the matter to others. Or if someone else comes to you and wants to gossip with you about what is going on in the lives of others, you should make it known that you do not want to engage in such talk and not give them an audience. Let's see what the bible has to say on this.
Psalm 34:13, "Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile."
Psalm 101:5, "Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer."
Proverbs 10:18, "He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool."
Proverbs 16:27, "An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire."
Proverbs 18:8, "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."
Proverbs 20:19, "He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips."
Proverbs 26:20, "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth."
1 Timothy 5:13, "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not."
1 Peter 4:15, "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters."
Remember, the person who talks TO YOU about everyone else talks ABOUT YOU to everyone else. Do not give "wood" to the fire by listening or repeating a matter. Do not be a busybody in other men's matters!
As a matter of fact, be careful whom you even listen to.
People can bring you down with their drama, foul language, negativity, and lies. You will spare the vexation of your soul by avoiding listening to these people.
Psalm 10:7, "His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity."
Psalm 55:21, "The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords."
Psalm 140:3, "They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah."
Proverbs 10:32, "The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness."
2 Peter 2:7, "And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked."
And do not trust anybody and everybody with your "business." Do not put your business all out in the streets.
If you have a problem with your husband, tell your husband. If someone hurts your feelings or mistreats you, do not talk about the person behind their back. Confront them to their face. Work it out. Take your concern to the source.
Proverbs 15:28, "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things."
Proverbs 17:9, "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends."
Proverbs 29:11, "A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterward."
Psalm 15:1-3, "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour."
Psalm 50:19-21, "Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes."
Christian, the world is watching you, and they are just waiting to have something to say against you.
People are just WAITING for you to do or say the wrong thing so that they can say, "Mmm-hmm. And you call yourself a Christian." The bible tells us to give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully against us. We are to have sound speech that cannot be condemned! (Refer to Titus 2:8) Be an example to the world by your deeds and your words.
Malachi 2:6, "The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity."
1 Corinthians 9:27, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
Ephesians 4:29, 31, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice."
Philippians 1:27, "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."
Colossians 3:8, "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth."
1 Timothy 4:12, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
1 Peter 3:2, "While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear."
2 Peter 3:11, "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."
Let us follow the examples set forth in these verses and use our tongues wisely:
Job 33:3, "My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly."
Psalm 39:1, "I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me."
Proverbs 8:7-8, ""For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them."
Proverbs 31:26, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
So, in conclusion, be mindful of what you say and how you say it, and make a pledge unto the Lord to speak right!
Job 27:4, "My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit."
Psalm 120:2, "Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue."
Psalm 141:3, "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."
Proverbs 4:24, "Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee."
1 Peter 1:15, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation."
1 Peter 3:10, "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile."
Ephesians 5:1-4, "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving thanks."
Ephesians 5:11-12, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."