Keep your Tongue from Evil 

Combustion | Devotion #4: Keep your Tongue from Evil
Mark O’Connor | Student Director

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

Oh, let us count the ways that our tongue causes us to do evil! It is always amazing to me how little control students have of their words. It is even more amazing how little control adults have of their words. Not only does it amaze me, but it also annoys me in a way that few other things do.

I can remember times when in stores, public places, and even in the church where a parent says downright degrading things to their child. At the same time, I watch students do the same thing to or towards their parents, their peers, and any adult in general.

We see in our culture today, a mindset to speak first, get your feelings and your opinion out there, and have no regard for who it affects and how. We live in a share before you read, copy and paste society. Our kids, whether they are yours or not, are learning from watching how we react and then how we speak. When kids are watching their parent do nothing but rant and complain, they will naturally do the same thing.

I am a naturally very sarcastic person, as is my wife. Actually, both sides of the O’Connor and Meyecic clan excel at sarcasm. We saw fairly early on the effect that this had on our kids and the way they interact with others. This is something I have had to stay very focused on in dealing with both adults, my kids, and the students in the church.

It is imperative that we learn to control our tongue in our homes and within our families. It does not mean we are perfect. I am certainly guilty of speaking before I think. It is something that I work very hard to control and keep in check. James tells us this:

“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” James 3:5

Left unchecked, our word can burn our worlds to the ground, even worse, it will burn our kid’s world to the ground. It is our responsibility to tame that fire. It takes very little to shift those words from a fire, tearing things down, to a place of edification. We can lift up those around us. We need to be an encouragement to our spouses, lift our kids up to the Lord, and spur them on to do incredible things in the name of Christ rather than tether them down.

So the next time we start to react to a social situation, and most importantly our family, let us stop and consider what we are going to say. Let our words glorify Jesus and not tear others down.

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