Lebanon church of Christ
A Smart Mouth

A Smart Mouth

I am amazed at all the smart mouths in this world.  Some people seem to not care who they are around or where they are, and I wish I could be like them. In fact, we need more of them. I am not talking about the smart mouth that brings out the soap but one that is smart in the way it uses its words. The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is just not true. In fact, we can hurt many people with the words we choose.  I think if we are all honest with ourselves, we all struggle with the sins of the tongue (James 3:2). Gossip, slander, angry words, belittling and other sins of the tongue seem to tempt us all. The Bible teaches us that the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). For what are you using yours? Over the next couple of weeks, we want to look at some things that make a smart mouth, such as control, truth and being gracious with our words. Come back and study with us next week, and in the meantime pray for a smart mouth!


“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless” (James 1:26). That is a scary passage. In a world that shows us every wrong way to use our tongues, God reminds us that His children should be different. It is so easy to slip into the sins of the tongue, and that is why a smart mouth must be in control. It is easy to tell the driver who cut us off, the waitress who got our order wrong, our family, etc, what we think, but what does that really show? It shows who is in control. If someone or some situation “forces” us to act or speak in a certain way, then who is really in control? I want a smart mouth, and that means I must practice control. I can only do that with God’s power (Psalm 39:1; 141:3). We must guard our mouths or come to ruin (Proverbs 13:3). So the next time something does not go your way or someone upsets you, remember who is in control. Come worship with us and use your tongue to praise the God who made it.

The Truth

I worry that we have accepted that lying is a part of life and if everyone else is doing it, we should be, too. We have seen some of our politicians, athletes, and others do it, so why can we not? We must not forget that lying lips are an abomination (Proverbs 12:22). To “justify” our lying, we think, “It is just a little white lie and it is not hurting anyone.” In the end lying is lying no matter what color it is or what size it is, and it is an abomination. In fact, God reminds us that those who are outside of heaven love and practice lying. Someone might say, “I thought the only people outside of heaven are those who commit ‘big’ sins.” God does not consider some sins worse than others and sin (such as lying) will keep you out of heaven. It does not matter if everyone is doing it or not. Finally, this is not a license to go out and be cruel to people under the mask of truth. We are always to speak the truth, but we must speak it in love (Ephesians 4:15). The truth is God loves you. Come and learn about His love.

Gracious Speech

We have talked about control and truth in our previous articles and both of those are necessary to practice gracious speech. It seems many of us are angry, for whatever reason, and that anger spills out into our speech. Whatever happened to, “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all”? The world would either be much nicer or a lot quieter. You have met those individuals who cross your path and are like a breath of fresh air with their encouragement, not empty flattery. I want to encourage you to be wise in your speech by speaking words of life (encouragement) and not words of death (Ecclesiastes 10:12). Look for good. It may take some time and practice, but you usually find what you are looking for. Think before you speak (James 1:19; Colossians 4:6). What a world that would be! You may say that I am a dreamer, and the truth of the matter is, you will have tough days and meet people not in control of their mouths.  However you can start the change by changing yourself. Let us strive to give grace to those around us with our words (Ephesians 4:29).


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