Confessions of a Talker

The tongue is a very interesting muscle in our body.  The tongue:

  • Is the strongest muscle in your body
  • Is the most flexible muscle in your body
  • Is the only muscle that is only attached at one end
  • Has a print that is unique for each person. (Like a finger print)
  • Has over 3,000 taste buds
  • Is the fastest healing part of our body
  • And can start a fire

Wait, what? Does the tongue have combustible qualities that science has yet to discover?  Not quite.  Here let me let James explain:

“…But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.  And the tongue is a lame of fire.  It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body.  It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”   (James 3:5-6 NLT)

The fact is, our words can get us in a world of trouble.  As I watch the GOP debates that are going on, as we are now less than a year from the 2012 elections, there are candidates who trip and fall time and time again, on their own words.  Our words can doom us in an interview with a potential employer.  Now this is a major problem for someone who talks as much as I do.  I was a child who could not stop talking and asking questions, and I can’t help it that my voice carries.  However, in the jumble of bad puns, sarcastic comments, and lighthearted humor, I can very easily say something that will get me in trouble.

I want to talk in short about two types of people who need to take control of their tongue.

First, there is the person like me, the talker.  These are the people who get themselves into trouble just out of the sheer amount of words that we speak.  Take a few tips from my short life story:

  1. You Don’t Always Have to Talk

I learned this the hard way!  I went to Mississippi to visit my girlfriend at the time and her family.  I had never met her parents before and we sat down to dinner for our first meal ever.  As we ate pizza I started to share my life story with these people.  I felt that I had come all the way down here and I was sure that these people wanted to know the guy that their daughter was dating.  Talking was natural at my family’s dinner table but apparently I didn’t get the memo that these people reserved the dinner table solely for eating and talking was saved for later.  As I nervously bumbled of my words, the mother, whom I had never met said, “Jason you don’t have to talk all the time.”  Ouch!  While this was a tough lesson to learn, and not one that I needed to hear out loud in front of everyone, I will never forget it.

  1. You Need to Listen

I’m sure that whatever advice you have for a person is great, but you need to hear that person out.  They need to know that you are listening and not just waiting to add in your two cents.  Also, don’t just hear, LISTEN.  Even if you know where the story is going, they need to know that you value them enough to let them finish.

The second person is the destroyer.  Do you know that one person who always has a comeback?  It’s like the show, “Yo Mama” that used to be on MTV. (If you don’t know what this is, it’s a show that glorifies the yo mama joke)  There are people out there that know exactly what to say to cut you down to size.  When the destroyer is finished you have to check and make sure that the victim still has legs under them because this person knows exactly what to say.  If you’ve ever seen the show “Modern Family” you see the destroyer in action on quite a regular basis.  Alex Dunphy is possibly the best example of the destroyer in action.  She cuts to the quick and before you know it she has undermined her sister or brother without them even knowing it.

“With it (the tongue) we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”  (James 3:9 NLT)

The fact is that this “destroyer” type of behavior kills youth groups.  I have seen brothers and sisters viciously attack each other in our youth group with one quick phrase.  I have seen students who look completely downtrodden because they can’t get a break.  The fact is that students not only deal with all of this at school, but many of our youth groups are fostering this same type of attitude.  We let the destroyers roam free and then we have to pick up the pieces of rubble, that are our students’ lives afterward.

The tongue is a fire and the tongue can very easily destroy our families, our relationships, and our ministries if we do not learn to control it.  At the end of this passage is says this,

“Who is wise and understanding among you?  By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”  (James 3:13 NLT)

We are destroying each other with our words because that’s all we know, when we should be edifying and building up the body of Christ.  Seek to build each other up.  We have to learn to tame the fire that is our tongue.  If we don’t, we could end up destroying those closest to us.



About onebeatblog

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Posted on November 14, 2011, in Christian Living, Spiritual Disciplines and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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