Christ taught that what comes out of our mouths – blessing or cursing – is that which fills our hearts. “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Christ Himself did not bring against Satan “a railing accusation” (Jude 9). Cursing springs from hate and exhibits the spirit of Satan, “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10).
The apostle James teaches that a Christian should not be characterized by having an evil tongue: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water” (James 3:9-12).
Genuine Christians show their faith by using their tongues to bless even their enemies (Matthew. 5:44, 45). The apostle Peter tells us, “For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech” (1 Peter 3:10). He who finds it hard to “refrain his tongue” may pray the prayer of Psalms 141:3 “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
The apostle Paul said, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). So, it is not enough that the Christian merely abstain from unseemly speech. His words are to accomplish a useful purpose. Jesus warned against the use of idle words (Matthew 12:36), words that accomplish no good purpose.
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In His service,
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