WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 28, 2020
TOPIC: CONTROL YOUR TONGUE TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE
BY T. O. BANSO
“If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23 New Living Translation).
R. Fuller is quoted as saying, “Learn to hold thy tongue. Five words cost Zacharias forty weeks’ silence.” What were those five words that Fuller referred to? “How shall I know this?” (Luke 1:18a).
This was part of the statement that Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, uttered that made him become mute, after an encounter with the angel of the LORD during which he was told that his prayer was heard; and his wife Elizabeth would bear a son, and he would call his name John. Those five words amounted to unbelief.
The full statement Zacharias made to the angel in response to the good news that his wife would become give birth to a son was: “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years” (Luke 1:18 New King James Version).
In response to this question of unbelief by this priest, the angel said, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time” (verses 19-20 New King James Version).
Just as the angel said, Elizabeth, Zacharias’ wife, became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Throughout the period of the pregnancy, Zacharias was mute, and probably deaf, too. He only regained his ability to speak again at the naming of the son. This happened to Zacharias because he didn’t control his tongue. He used it to speak unbelief. He put himself in trouble!
Someone who did not say anything, nobody can misquote him! Hardly will anyone be in trouble for saying nothing. People are usually in trouble for saying the wrong things or for saying more than what is necessary. Know what to say and when to stop. Don’t let your mouth put you in trouble! “The talk of fools is a rod for their backs, but the words of the wise keep them out of trouble” (Proverbs 14:3 New Living Translation).
A wise man does not say all that is in his heart. It is a foolish man or an immature person who says it as he sees it and says all he knows carelessly. “You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth” (Proverbs 6:2 New King James Version). Jesus warned that by the word of your mouth you are justified and by the word of your mouth you are condemned (Matthew 12:37).
It was the mouth of the Amalekite, who claimed to have killed Saul and came to tell David, that killed him. David told him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the LORD’s anointed’” (2 Samuel 1:16 New King James Version).
A similar fate befell the sons of Rimmon from Beeroth, Rechab and Baanah, who also killed Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, and brought his head to David. David commanded his young men to execute them (2 Samuel 4:4-12). Control your tongue – the mouths of those two brothers killed them! Proverbs 21:23 says, “If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble” (New Living Translation).
Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19). God gave you two ears and one mouth! Control your tongue when you’re feeling angry. Don’t speak when you’re feeling angry – you’re most likely going to put yourself in trouble because you’ll say what you’ll later regret. The ability to control your tongue is a mark of spiritual maturity. “We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way” (James 3:2 New Living Translation).
1 Peter 3:10 says, “If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies” (New Living Translation). Has your tongue ever put you in trouble? Learn your lesson. Control your tongue if you don’t want it to put you in further trouble. Control your tongue if you want to stay out of trouble. Control your tongue if you’re being provoked to anger. James 1:19 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (New Living Translation).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, deliver me from using my tongue to say what will put me in trouble. O LORD, let me not misuse my tongue. In the face of provocation, Holy Spirit, help me to control myself and refrain from speaking unadvisedly.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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