If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26 (NIV)
Listen to the words that are coming out of your mouth. I want you to listen carefully to all that you are saying. Why is that? If you really listen to your own words I’m sure that you will be very surprised. Do you understand what I’m asking of you? I’m not exactly sure what you have in mind. I want you to critically evaluate all the words that are coming out of your mouth. While you’re at it, you can also evaluate the words that you don’t say out loud. I want you to evaluate even the words that you are able to suppress. I also want you to evaluate your self-talk. Do you have any idea why I am asking you to do all of this? No, not really.
Every word that is in your heart and on your mind will one day come out. The words that you think and the words that you say are very powerful. Your words have power to build up and tear down. Your words have the ability to heal. Your words have the ability to kill. Have you ever deeply regretted the words that you have said to others? Yes, many times I have been very sorry about the words that have come out of my mouth. Have you ever deeply regretted the words that you have said to yourself? Yes, many times I have been very discouraged by the words that I have had in my heart and on my mind and said to myself.
Do you want to keep a tight rein on your tongue? Yes Lord, I want to think and say words that build others up. I want to think and say words that bring encouragement and healing to all those that hear them. I want to think and say words that are pleasing to you. Do you want your life to bear fruit through the words that I give you to speak? Yes Lord, I want my words to bear fruit for your kingdom. I want my words to bring glory to your name. I want my words to be consistent with who I am. Who are you? I am your child. I am your follower. Yes, you are. You are my Savor and Lord. You are my God and my King. Yes, I am. Listen to me and I will give you the words that I want you to think. Listen to me and I will give you the words that I want you to speak. Let my words be in your heart and on your mind. Let my words be the words that will come out of your heart and mind and mouth. Let my words bless your life. Let my words bless the lives of others. Yes Lord, I will.
Lord, I have spoken unhelpful and hurtful words I deeply regret. Forgive Me. Help me keep a tight rein on my tongue. Give me words to speak that will build up, encourage and bless others. Bear fruit for your kingdom through the words you give me to speak. Amen
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If – James 1-26 – Considers Himself Religious – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide
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