Six Practical Pieces of Advice Regarding Our Tongues

1. Acknowledge that you have a tongue that is prone to sin.

One of my favorite hymns is “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” written by Robert Robinson in 1757 when he was only 22 years old. Listen to what he says in fourth stanza:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Here Robinson humbly acknowledges his heart’s great tendency to sin. Of course, our tongues are equally prone to sin also. Indeed, your tongue and my tongue have a natural inclination to curse God, take His name in vain, bear false witness against our neighbors, hurt our spouses, provoke our children to anger, damage our relationship with others, and destroy our lives. We should not deny this reality but humbly accept it.

2. Ask God to deliver you from your sinning tongue.

Pray with David, “Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue” (Ps. 120:2). Or we can borrow the words of Robinson’s hymn and apply them to our tongues and say to God, “Bind my wandering tongue to Thee. Here’s my tongue, O take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.” May it be our daily prayer to God that He will keep our tongues from sinning!

3. Aim to glorify God in everything that you say.

God created us to glorify Him forever. He created everything in us (including our tongue) for His glory. Therefore, we must use our tongues for His glory. The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

4. Avoid careless talkers such as gossipers.  

Do not tolerate people like them. Proverbs 11:13 says that “People who tell secrets about others cannot be trusted. Those who can be trusted keep quiet.” Then Proverbs 18:8 adds, “Gossip is so tasty—how we love to swallow it!” (GNB). Oh, may we not engage in careless talking, or passively listen to gossip and slander.

5. Admit your sin and look for forgiveness in Christ.

We need to confess all our sins, including those sins that have to do with the use of our tongues. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We need to realize, too, that only Jesus can deliver us from the power of all our sins. Therefore, we need Jesus, for he alone can change us. He alone can transform our tongues from being instruments of evil into being instruments of good.

6. Anticipate your glorified tongue.  

Yes, while we remain in this sin-stricken world and in our corrupt bodies, we will continue to struggle with the use of our tongue. We will sin with our tongue, in what we say and how we say things. However, someday God will completely deliver us from sin. He will glorify our bodies; we will not be able to sin anymore. We will have a tongue that is perfect—a tongue that will forever praise God, for “when [Jesus] appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John. 3:2).

Note: You may also want to read my book entitled The Gospel-Driven Tongue available through Amazon.

driven tongue

 

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The Gospel-Driven Tongue

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This book has its origin in the pulpit of our congregation, Dutton United Reformed Church. From May 2012 to November 2014 I delivered a series of fifty-five expository sermons on the book of James, and five of these sermons were all about the tongue. With the encouragement of Dan Van Dyke, general manager of The Outlook (the journal of Reformed Fellowship, Inc.), I decided to submit the edited version of these five sermons to be published in installments in The Outlook. Having received good feedback from the readers, I was inspired to put these articles together as a book. I therefore want to thank all the board members of Reformed Fellowship, Inc., for granting me permission to publish these articles in book format and for agreeing to publish the book itself.

I also wish to express my special thanks to Josh Dear for editing my sermon notes to transform them from sermonic form into book form. I am also indebted to Linda Triemstra for polishing my manuscript and to Jeff Steenholdt for designing and typesetting this book.

A big thanks also goes to my dear wife Sarah for helping me improve the manuscript and for her being understanding as I used part of our family time to work on this project.  Finally, I am deeply grateful to God for giving me strength to complete this study.

Here are the endorsements for this book: Gospel-Driven Tongue Cover

“Finally—a simple, direct, practical book on the sins of the tongue… This little book is a must read for all Christians, so that we would do a far better job at bridling our tongues and being more consistently God-glorifying in our daily conversation….I pray that God will use Pastor Najapfour’s book to open our eyes, confess our sins, and change our conversation to that which pleases God, loves our neighbor, and serves to mutual edification.”

Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

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“I recommend this fine booklet on the need to discipline the tongue. It will be of real help to all who have a serious desire to make progress in sanctification.”

Rev. Maurice Roberts, Emeritus Minister in Inverness, Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) and former editor of The Banner of Truth magazine

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“Scriptural, straightforward, simple, and soul-searching, this small book is a must read for all God’s people as they seek to glorify God in their lives, especially through their lips. The study questions at the end of each chapter are also ideal for a group Bible study.”

Mrs. Nenita del Mundo, National Director, Student Missionary Outreach and president of Student Missionary Outreach Bible Training Institute, Philippines 

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Click here, if you are interested in purchasing a copy of this book.

 

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