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Let's GLORIFY God with our tongue!

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ERHAPS IT'S just that up to the last couple years or so I may have been myopic, or maybe it's the particular Christians I've been fellowshipping with of late, but I have been noticing a very disturbing tendency in the Christians around me to use swear-words!  Even some pastors I know are susceptible to this practice!  What disturbs me the most has been the casual and liberal use of the Name of God, as in "God!" or "My God!"  There can be no less appropriate word for the Christian in particular to use than This!  And the people in whom I find this use most prominent is, again, those pastors!  By what stretch of the imagination can one use God's Name as an expletive with a clear conscience, especially if one is in the position of pastor of a church?  It seems to me that the tongue is one of the first areas that a committed Christian would want to get under the subjection and control of the Holy Spirit.

   

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.  

3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.  

4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.  Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!   

6 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 is set on fire of hell.  

7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:  

8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  

9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  

10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not so to be.  

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?   

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.  

13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

James 3:2-13

  

     It is this very passage that also explains, naturally so ably, the reason that the gift of speaking in tongues is the first gift God bestows upon him who has just received the Infilling of the Holy Spirit: the tongue is the first part of the individual that God always wishes to purify and it is that member that holds the key to whether or not God is able to make changes to our self-centered and sinful person.  If God cannot control that in the individual, He cannot control any part of him.

   

     I mean, it is the respectful use of the Name of God that forms one of the ten (select) commandments; this is not just an idle addition to some interminable wish-list of God's; it is the subject of one of the primary commandments of God, and it  quite simply reflects one's attitude to God.

   

Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.

Exodus 20:7

    

     The reason that the English Bible generally refers to God as, "the Lord," rather than directly transcribing His Names, such as, "Jehovah, Yahweh, El, Elohim," etc., as given in the Hebrew, is because of the recognition we give to the ancient Jewish custom of showing respect for the Name of God.  The Jews did not even say the Name of God; they referred to Him as, "the Lord."  When writing His Name, they would first wash themselves and prepare a new pen.  God's Name was given ultimate respect by the ancient Jews.  Yet some modern, enlightened, Spiritually-attuned Christians show It so little respect as to use It as an exclamation or a swearword!

   

     A description of just what this type of usage does to God's Name comes from another place in Scripture:

   

And ye shall not swear by My Name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the Name of thy God: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:12

   

     Nor is it God's Own Name that is the only expletive on the lips of my brothers and sisters in the Lord: this author hears some of the most grotesque words of all pass their lips, and some from the lips of those in Spiritual leadership!  The author refuses to believe any suggestion that in protesting this he is simply a legalistic prude - he is a Christian; and he would like to think that his speech mirrors that!  Why can we not then expect to hear this of other Christians?  We are God's representatives on earth, showing to those around us the glory of God.  What we are should glorify Him!

   

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

   

     Filthy speech in no way can be expected to do that, nor even suggest that we belong to Christ.  No-one ever glorified God because of or after hearing filthy language!   

  

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Ephesians 5:4

    

     "And what about the mere occasional 'colourful' word, what can be wrong with that?"  It is just exactly those that make any bit of speech distasteful.  Anyone who has listened to someone speaking this way (even one who does it himself) can testify to just how much one or two swear-words can do make a sentence ungodly - and unpleasant.  It takes just one hair or fly in one's meal to make the whole thing unappetizing - and earn for the cook a scolding!  The little impurity destroys the whole thing, for it is easier to destroy than to build, or to pervert than to establish purity, reputation, or trust.

  

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

Song of Solomon 2:15

   

What a Christian can be expected to be:

  

The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

Ecclesiastes 10:12

    

     Why can we not expect to hear this of other Christians, and especially those in Spiritual leadership?   We must surely suppose that if "the pastor" swears the people will follow! 

      

And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.  For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have com-mitted much, of him  they will ask the more.

Luke 12:47, 48

    

     Evidently, even more is expected of the pastor than of his flock.

  

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     Finally, it is the mouth that reveals exactly what a man is made of, where his heart is, and the extent to which he is surrendered to God:

      

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.     

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.    

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  

37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Matthew 12:33-37

   

     And this is the reason the heart and the mouth are mentioned together.

   

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer.

Psalms 19:14

       

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8

       

The Words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalms 12:6

    

If ye love Me, keep My commandments.

Jn. 14:15

     

     

     

  

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