WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 29, 2022
TOPIC: KEEP YOUR TONGUE FROM SPEAKING EVIL
BY T. O. BANSO
“For the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil” (1 Peter 3:10a New Living Translation).
Many people have trained their tongues to speak evil words to others. It is common for people to speak evil words to their spouses, children, friends, loved ones, or those who have wronged them. This could be out of anger or in return for similar evil words they have spoken to them. Some people don’t even spare themselves. They speak evil to themselves!
The Apostle Peter says, “For ‘He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil’” (1 Peter 3:10a New King James Version). 1 Peter 3:10 is a quotation from Psalm 34:12-16. To refrain your tongue from evil means to “keep your tongue from speaking evil” (New Living Translation). It means you “must not say evil things” (New Century Version) or “you must keep from speaking evil” (Good News Translation). “For the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil’” (1 Peter 3:10a New Living Translation). This scripture says this is one of the things you must do if you want to enjoy life and see good days. The second part of the verse and subsequent verses mention other things you must do.
What is the context of this command to Christians to keep their tongues from evil speaking? Earlier in 1 Peter 3:8-9, Peter said, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (New King James Version).
Peter was dealing with the need for believers to have Godly relationships. He wanted them to live in harmony with one another, be compassionate, and love one another as brothers (and sisters). He told them to be tenderhearted and humble, and not repay evil with evil or reviling for reviling. Building on this way of life, he quoted from the Scriptures that if believers wanted to enjoy life and see many happy days, they must, among other things, keep their tongues from speaking evil.
Christians must be careful not to speak evil to friends or foes, believers or nonbelievers. Don’t speak evil to others and of others in anger or retaliation. Be careful what you say. Words are powerful. Don’t say what does not glorify God. Keep your tongue from speaking evil. Ephesians 4:31 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (New King James Version). Take note of the phrase “evil speaking.” Also, 1 Peter 2:1 says you should lay aside all evil speaking and other sins mentioned.
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life (Proverbs 15:4a). Let your tongue be a tree of life, not a tree of death. Let it be a life-giving tree, not a death-giving tree. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21 New King James Version).
Don’t speak evil words to yourself because of life’s adversities or challenges you’re going through or any other reason. Don’t curse yourself or others. Don’t harm yourself or others with the use of your tongue. Keep your tongue from speaking evil. Don’t assist Satan; resist him. James 4:7 says you should submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Many people assist Satan by continuing to speak evil concerning their lives, families, friends, neighbours, etc. Don’t destroy others by speaking evil. Don’t destroy yourself, too. “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul” (Proverbs 18:7 New King James Version). Don’t be provoked to speak evil. Don’t speak unadvisedly.
Discipline your tongue to always say what God has said concerning yourself and others, including your family, and loved ones. Do the same to your enemies; don’t speak evil to them or of them. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 New King James Version). Luke 6:27 also says to love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. Likewise, verse 35a tells believers to love their enemies.
Instead of speaking evil to others, speak pleasant, encouraging, kind, and gentle words. Speak to yourself also what the Lord has said. The psalmist says, “I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust” (Psalm 91:2 New King James Version). Is that not better than saying, “I am in trouble”, “I will soon be in trouble”, or “I am finished”? Is it not better to bless others than to curse them? Even if you feel or think that they deserve a curse, remember what the Bible says and refrain from cursing them. “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21 New International Version).
Satan may bring an evil thought to you; don’t meditate on it or speak it out, thereby giving life to it. Cast it out and replace it with a godly thought. Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5b). Discipline your tongue to do this.
Don’t set on fire the lives of others by speaking evil. Don’t do the same to yourself. “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-6 New King James Version). As the Apostle James says, if anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, his religion is useless and he deceives himself. Bridle your tongue (James 1:26). Keep your tongue from speaking evil.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that 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 God raised Him on 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 a palm tree and grow like a 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: Holy Spirit, help me to refrain my tongue from evil. Help me not to speak evil to others. I shall not set my life, home, career, ministry, or business on fire by evil speaking. I pray that everyone who is a victim of evil speaking shall be delivered in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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