I encourage you to read James 3:1-12 very carefully. There are many verses in the Bible on right confession and the power of the tongue; but here, James gives perhaps the most thorough teaching on the subject. If you don’t think your words have affect on the course of your life, then the Bible says you are clearly deceived (1Cor 15:33). It is deception to think you can speak fear doubt, depression, sickness, poverty, etc. day in and day out - and not expect it to have a negative impact on your life. Let’s get into God’s Word.
The Apostle James compared the tongue to a bit in a horse’s mouth; the rudder on a ship; and a spark igniting a forest fire. This is God’s Word, so we should pay close attention. James said with a little piece of metal, you could make a horse do whatever you want it to do. You control that horse. So, your tongue controls your life like a bit in a horse’s mouth. You are the beast, and your tongue is the bit. You are where you are today, largely because of your mouth. You don’t believe me? Check out these Bible verses for yourself: (Prv 6:2, 10:19, 12;13, 17:27-28, 18:7 and 21, 21:23, Ps 39:1). Don’t be fooled into thinking your words don’t have power. I mean death and life power. I mean mountain-moving power (Mk 11:23)
James then compares the tongue to a rudder on a ship. Have you ever seen a ship in dry dock? If you haven’t, then just take my word for it: the rudder is tiny compared to the size of the ship itself. That tiny rudder moves that huge ship. It makes it go in a certain direction. Your tongue is tiny compared to the rest of your body, but that tiny thing will steer your life and determine your course. Do you still think your words don’t matter?
The Apostle then says the tongue, or words, are like tiny sparks that set a forest on fire. One little match, one little cigarette butt, one little ember - can change the landscape for years. Do you honestly think your filthy and foolish talk, your griping and complaining, your constant speaking of lack and sickness and depression, your insults, your "I can never", your murmuring and gossip and lying and slander - doesn’t have an impact on your life? Surely your not that foolish. Are the constant admonitions in God’s Word to watch your tongue in vain?
Read Eccl 5:1-6, and 10:12-14. We are not to talk loosely, or give "The sacrifice of fools". We are not to rashly speak and make vows we cannot pay (see also Prv 29:11). We are not to allow our tongue to cause our flesh to sin. A fool is swallowed up by his own words. The end of his mouth is evil madness. A fool is full of words - meaningless words. Foolish talking and joking is not to be even named among Christians (Eph 5:3-4). We are to put off filthy communication out of our mouth (Col 3:8). Our words obviously matter to Jesus.
What are we to speak? The words of God. Jesus Christ should be glorified in our speech, in our conversations (1Pt 4:11). Imagine if every Christian purposed to somehow glorify God in every conversation they had. That would probably cut down on a lot of idle chit chat. In fact, that would probably cut out most of the speaking we do altogether. We should speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). Our speech should build up and minister grace to the hearers (Eph 4:29). Gracious and salty; Hard truth mixed with love and compassion (Col 4:6, Lk 4:22).
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life (Prv 15:4). A wise tongue is health (Prv 12:18). The wise man’s heart teaches his mouth to speak pleasant words which are sweet to the soul and health to the bones (Prv 16:23-24). Notice all of the comparisons between one’s health and one’s words? You don’t think your words have something to do with your health? God sure does.
Many Christians blow off teachings like this, thinking it’s just that old "Blab it and grab it" theology. No matter what your theology is, or what denomination you’re a part of: this is simple Bible truth. You don’t have to "Read something into it"; it’s stated real plain and simple. God said, "As they have spoken in My ears, let it be done unto them" (Num 14:28). God said, "By your words you will be justified; and by your words you shall be condemned" and "Every idle word will be given an account of on the Day of Judgment" (Mt 12:36-37). God said, "Your religion is worthless, and you are deceived - if you don’t control your tongue" (Jam 1:26).
I pray this has encouraged and challenged you to start paying closer attention to what you let come out of your mouth. I got convicted myself just preaching on this last Sunday. I’m not yet where I want to be concerning this subject; but praise God I’m not where I used to be! Don’t quit! Keep marching on! Until next time, rejoice in the Lord!