Brethren, as we address this matter, I am thinking to myself, you only have to travel in a Kampala bound taxi, where one passenger feels they are being cheated by the conductor, for you to realize how filthy people’s tongues can be!
You probably have been in places where somebody opened their mouth, and all that came out was either bitterness or vulgar stuff. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how nice that particular individual looks they will all of a sudden take on an ugly image when dirty words escape from their lips.
I am sure that we have also been shocked, when people we held in high esteem made certain utterances or used language that is conventionally considered inappropriate. Now, the word of God in many places cautions us to tame our tongues. Apostle James once wrote, “How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell…but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it, we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God (James 3:5b – 9).
I want to conclude with this question, what is ‘leaking’ out of you? Have you ever left some food in an unmarked container for a long time in the refrigerator, and it leaked out? Seeing all the mess will quickly remind you of what you had left there. In the same way, you can tell what’s really going on in a person’s heart by what ‘leaks’ out through his or her mouth. It’s a principle that Jesus Himself affirmed (Matt. 12:34). Your words betray whether your heart is filled with love and goodness or hate and evil. Since it’s so hard to control your own tongue (3:1-2), why not ask for help? Ask God to reveal to you your difficult areas. Then confess your sin and ask Him to give you wisdom on how to deal with the problem and how to have more self-control. My brothers and sisters, I must confess that I haven’t fully overcome as yet, but I make every effort to speak words that bring healing, hope and reconciliation, words that build others, as opposed to words that put others down and hurt them, words that fuel conflicts, as God gives me His grace. Stay blessed.
The Very Rev. Canon Michael Mukhwana