TALK LESS (Watch Your Mouth Series)
| Text: James 3:1-13 |
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, as we out bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which thought they be so great and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even though the tongue is a little member and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body and setteth on fire the course of nature. And it set on fire of hell foe every kind of beast and of birds and of serpents and of things in the sea is tamed and has been tamed of mankind. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith we bless God, even the Father, and therewith we curse men which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth, proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. doth the fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is the wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom”.
The bible describes the tongue as a world of fire. The tongue is a deadly poison. James refers to the tongue as that helm with which the captain of a ship directs the ship on course, to ensure that it arrives at its destination. That thing that steers the ship is a tiny bit. Wherever the captain chooses to turn it, will determine where the whole body of the ship and its content will go. So also, if there were no steering wheel in a car, there would have been nothing to give direction to your motion.
Motion that is not directed will land you in the wrong place. The steering wheel is not the biggest instrument in the car; yet the side that you turn it to informs the direction that your car goes. That is what your tongue is to your whole life. As you move your steering and the whole car turns, so also when you move your tongue anyhow, your entire destiny turns. You’ve got to watch your mouth and not dabble into discussions that you were not invited into. No more talking anyhow. No more polluting lives around you with what God has put in your mouth, to take you to the final destination of honour and glory. No more will you sabotage the design of God because of your inability to control yourself.
Your tongue could be the reason why you are where you are today; not because of witches, and not because of neighbours who hate you. It is not because your Church is not anointed; it is because of what has come out your tongue. According to the book of James, hell can inspire your words deliberately, to begin to spark fire against the plan of God for your life. This fire can consume the forest of glory that God has set before you. Your wealth and mountain of good health can be brought to nothing by sparks from your mouth.
The joy is that Heaven can also inspire your words to establish the grace and glory of God upon the face of the earth.
We need to examine our mouths and our tongues. You need to disallow hell from inspiring your tongue. We want to come to a level, where each one of us, in one accord, will cut off every evil speaking from our vocabulary. Anything that does not represent God and His glory will never be heard out of my mouth. You can choose that too; and we can do it.
Notice: James said, all other animals can be tamed but the tongue cannot be tamed. I always laugh when I ask people, ‘why did you talk the way you talked? And the person tells me, ‘You know, the bible says no man can tame the tongue’. But that is not what the bible says. James was talking about how man can be able to tame other animals and he says: ‘but for the tongue, no man can tame’. In other words, you can tame animals but you cannot tame other people’s tongues for them. That does not mean YOU cannot tame you OWN tongue! Your tongue is so important in the agenda of your destiny that if you don’t take it seriously, you will run yourself aground and then start blaming everybody around you.
And at this time, I want to warn earnestly: stop talking about the devil. Why, because the more you talk about the devil, the more you magnify him. Stop talking about your negative circumstances and situations because the more you talk about negativism, the more overwhelming it becomes.
Start talking about God because the more you talk about God, the bigger God becomes to you and your circumstances; and the bigger God becomes, the bigger your victory.
Stop abusing your trade in the market place. Begin to declare that the wares on your table will bring out a Supermarket; and when God hears that, He begins to orchestrate possibilities for that table to give birth to your Supermarket. If what you own now is a Supermarket, begin to tell it: ‘the God of increase will multiply you and you will give birth to other branches’. One day, it will not just have branches, it will birth and become a Shopping Mall.
No member of this Church should be satisfied with staying small. You were not created to remain small. Greatness is in your DNA. Acknowledge what you’ve got and what you’ve got will begin to become bigger and bigger and bigger! Say to yourself all the time: ‘I am becoming bigger and greater!’ That’s your life! That’s how to build your life! If you know how to talk well, nothing can die in your hands.
Now, there is a very important question that we need to ask ourselves. Does it matter to God what we say?
I have had to correct a lot people over the years saying; ‘watch your mouth, watch what you say’. And they say to me:
‘My mouth is mine. I can use it anyhow. Why are you telling me not to talk? Wont we talk again?’
Let me say it like this: If you think your lips our yours and you can run it anyhow, then your salvation has a question mark. If Jesus is truly Lord over your life, then He should be Lord over your tongue. If He is not yet Lord over your tongue, then your tongue can be yours and you can use it to ruin your life and your business and your children and bring your marriage to a standstill; so that everyone will clap for you.
Your lips are not yours! They are not meant to be opened anyhow and used anyhow! Man is the only creation that was given the liberty to choose his own words. Not even the angels can choose their own words. The one angel (Lucifer)that tried to choose what he did and said is no longer in Heaven right now. Jesus didn’t talk anyhow. Jesus said: ‘I say nothing of myself. I only say what I hear the spirit say’.
You cannot want miracles and signs and wonders and you are running your mouth and declaring things like, “I am dead”. “This child will kill me”. Stop corrupting your entire destiny! How can you corrupt your destiny and look for a miracle?
Does God care what we say? Does it matter to Him? Of course, God cares! He is concerned because if we are not speaking right, we will destroy His plan for ourselves because our words do not align with his Will.
The next question I want to ask is this: Does God listen to what we say? Does He hear what we say? Yes! God listens attentively to the words of your lips. He hears them clearly. Scripture shows that God listens; He hears; and what we say affects what God says about us. What you say matters to God because it is a matter of life and death. Your tongue carries life and it carries death.
In the book of Ezekiel 35:13, we will see the reaction of God to His people. God said:
“Thus with your mouth, you have boasted against me and you have multiplied your words against me. I have heard them”.
Any average believer can imagine what the people of God were saying about God. These are Christians; these are Convenant-people of God who are saying with their mouths that it is vain to serve God. They were murmuring and complaining: ‘I pay my tithe’. ‘I give my seed’. ‘I am the one cleaning the restrooms. Take a look at me. Do I look blessed?”
What you say affects what God says about you. What you say determines what God will do to you; if not for mercy.
Let us look at the book of Jeremiah 23:33-40:
“And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee saying, What is the burden of the Lord? Thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord. And as for the prophet and the priest and the people to the prophet, that shall say. The burden of the Lord, I will even punish that man and his house. Thus shall ye say everyone to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord spoken? And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God. Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? And, What hath the Lord spoken? But since they say, The burden of the Lord, therefore thus saith the Lord; Because ye say this word, The burden of the Lord; and I have sent unto you saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the Lord; Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers and cast you out of my presence. And I will bring everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten”.
Do you see that God hears what we say? God has not changed. If He was hearing what they were saying at that age, He is still hearing what we are saying now.
Many people will not talk trash when they are in Church. They come in very holy, very loyal and very submissive. Outside, they are something else. They criticize everything; even the Church. But people don’t know that when they talk against the Church, they are not talking against one man.
Let me tell you the story behind Jeremiah 23:33-40. Israel became lascivious; a nation without order and decency. People did what they wanted. Immoral behaviours were everywhere, anyhow and God was sending prophet after prophet to warn Israel that judgment is coming.
Now, instead of receiving the warning, Israel trivialized it and turned the warning to a slogan. They called it. ‘The burden of the Lord’. The Lord said to them, you will not call your misdoings – The burden of the Lord anymore; for every man’s word shall be his burden. That is to say: it is not what anybody says about you, it is what you are saying about yourself with your tongue.
Does that not look like the Church of today; where people treat the spiritual things like little things? People are throwing holy things to the dogs these days. People who have no value for spirituality want to bring the world and carnality into the Church. Such people could have been carrying the bible for 30 years, yet not a single scripture is in their memory. Their lives do not reflect a life that is guided by the Word of God! Be careful with your mouth! You don’t need to visit a prophet to know that when you talk too much, there is sin and unrighteousness in your life.
Proverbs 10:19 says,
“In a multitude of words, there wanteth not sin, but he that refraineth his lips is wise”.
Over-talking is a reflection of what you carry inside. Over-talking reflects a corrupt mind. Mark those who jump into conversations without being invited. What they want to do is to show that they know too much and that they must contribute by force; even when it is not compulsory. That, is pride and arrogance. You can keep your words to yourself. You don’t have to say anything. Have you ever seen a student who tries to teach his teacher in the class? That is the biggest level of arrogance.
The bible says in Proverbs 17:28,
“He that has knowledge, spareth his words; And a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit”.
Talking is not compulsory. You’ve got to understand your place and then learn how to keep your mouth shut. That would not mean that you are stupid. According to the Word of God, it only means that you are wise. God says His ways are not our ways. Do not follow the ways of the world with God!
Ecclesiastics 5:8 says, “Be not rash with thy mouth and let not thy heart be hasty to utter anything before God. For God is in Heaven and are on earth; So, let your words be few”.
Never say anything without thinking. Always make sure you think first before you say. Don’t be under any pressure to give an answer. Do not use your mouth to destroy a family you labored over! I made many mistakes early in ministry and I lost a lot. I have learnt lessons. Any mother who has known pain; one who has been to the Labour Ward to produce a child, knows what it feels like to see that child walk away from home.
Proverbs 15:28 says, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer, but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things’. The heart of the righteous will meditate think, study, and muse before answering. The devil comes constantly to weigh you and test you and see how you will react.
Jesus displayed how to think before answering. Do you remember the story of the woman found in adultery and they brought her to Jesus? (John 8:1-11). They said to Jesus, “Jesus, we know you are righteous. We caught this woman red handed in adultery and that is why we brought her before you; because the law of Moses recommends so and so. Jesus, what do you say?’ (paraphrased)
The bible says that Jesus did not answer immediately. He needed to hear from His father, .by His spirit. He needed time and in order to buy time, He stooped down and started writing on the sand as He meditated. He didn’t speak until the Father told Him what to say. The Father told Him, ‘Ask them all, every single one of them, who is without sin. Let the one without sin be the very first to cast the first stone’ (paraphrased). It was only after He had heard from the Father that He stood up and started to respond to them. He had nothing to say until He heard from His Father.
Most of the time, when we are trapped in situations, the best thing to say, is to say nothing. When you know that what will come out of your mouth will destroy what you are trying to build and become, say nothing. Shut your mouth and let them accuse you of saying nothing. And let the world say, ‘is it because he didn’t say anything to you, that you want to kill him?’ Get to that point where you say nothing until you know what you want to say. The accusers of the adulterous woman didn’t have the strength to stand and threaten after the answer came!
I declare that every accuser of your destiny will fizzle out now! You will look for them and you will see them no more, in the name of Jesus!
Therefore, think before you speak and talk less.
In Psalm 39:1-3, the bible says,
“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. I was dumb with silence; I held my peace, even from good and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue”.
Speak words that are inspired by the Holy Spirit over your marriage, over your business, over your career, over your children, over your health, over your Church. Speak words of faith; not the words of defeat. Speak the word of hope. Talk about where you are going and not about where you are coming from. Talk about your joy; not your pain. Talk about life; not about death. Talk about health; not about sickness and disease. Talk about prosperity, abundance, and wealth; and when you talk about these things, you eventually look like what you say.
You are a star that must shine for the world to see! You will go to nations, and everywhere you stand, God will distinguish you from the rest, in the name of Jesus! Why, because the words of your mouth separate you from the words of the ordinary human beings around you! Glory to the God of Heaven!