Text: James 3: 1 – 12
Main Idea: Taming the tongue
My Ramblings: Pastor Pat preached a wonderful sermon this past sunday on taming our tongue. It gave me a fresh perspective on this verse from James. Of course we’ve all heard a million times that we need to be careful how we speak, we must not gossip or slander. These things are sinful.
I don’t think I have much issue with gossip or slander anymore. There would have been a time in my life when I did. But I think not so much anymore. (unless I’m completely deceived. y’know that whole ‘blind to your own sin’ thing)
But I DO know what my issue is. It’s anger. It’s frustration. It’s impatience. Okay – I guess I should say, my issues!
I was never impatient or frustrated before I had kids. I’m quite sure of it. I also know that God is using my children to sanctify me as much as I am being used to teach them. And oh, the pains of sanctification!
I knew that my tone of voice with which I spoke with a certain eldest child was not always God-honouring. In fact, it was far from it. But I had no idea how I could change it. Day after day as we’re trying to get out the door for school he is the last one. He’s what we’ll lovingly call our dawdler. He’s unfocused and he always has a funny story to tell while he should be brushing his teeth and getting his socks on!
Of course this frustrates me to no end because I’m a focused person. One task at a time. Get done what needs to get done and then enjoy a story. Work hard during the week and then relax on the weekend. That’s how it works! At least for me. Not so, for him.
Plus, he’s 10. ’nuff said?
So going in to this sermon I already had it weighing on my heart (for possibly months…) that the way I spoke to Owen was not okay but he didn’t seem to respond unless I was very stern and, to my shame, mean!
As I said a few posts ago, this sermon walloped me on my head! It was exactly what I needed to hear. Pastor Pat was very gracious to say that our tongues are not easily tamed. And the fact that the word “tame” is used in scripture means it does not come naturally. If we “tame” wild horses its because they wouldn’t learn to be a certain way without this process of taming. So it is with my tongue. As much as I’ve prayed for help in this area – prayer was all I was doing – and then continuing to talk out of frustration.
What I learned is that along with prayer I need an action plan. What does one DO to tame the tongue?
First off I needed to repent for the way I use my tongue and ask that the Holy Spirit help me. Cause I need the help desperately!
Second, I needed to seek forgiveness from my son. Admit to him that I was wrong in my words and tone and ask him to forgive me as well as lay out how I plan to change it. Let me tell you, asking a 10 year old to hold you accountable is extremely humbling!
Then I needed to go over what Pastor Pat taught. The tongue is not easily tamed. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (v. 8) From it come blessing and curse (v.10) and that this is NOT okay!
For some reason, it had become okay for me to praise Jesus with my tongue and then speak in anger to my son. It was his fault, really, for not being the perfectly obedient child at all times! Or so I thought.
So that’s where I’m at. Working at, as Pastor Pat said, taming that bad boy! It means sometimes choosing not to speak. It means intentionally taking a deep breath, saying a quick prayer and then speaking slowly and graciously. It doesn’t mean letting my son get away with disobedience but I’m certainly not teaching him anything by my own disobedience.
And then I think of who he might marry and I picture a wife who may speak to him the way I do and it frightens me to no end and gives me another motivation to work at this whole taming thing. It won’t be easy, I’m certain of that. But anything that we are told to do in scripture is always well worth it!