Keep Thy Tongue
“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” Psalms 34:13
Of all the gifts that God has bestowed upon men, none is more precious than the gift of speech. If sanctified by the Holy Spirit, it is a power for good. It is with the tongue that we convince and persuade; with it we offer prayer and praise to God; and with it we convey rich thoughts of the Redeemer’s love.—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 336
All impurity of speech or of thought must be shunned by him who would have clear discernment of spiritual truth.—The Desire of Ages, p. 302
Who does not love life, and desire good days? Yet, how few comply with the conditions, to refrain the tongue from evil, and the lips from speaking guile. Few are willing to follow the Saviour’s example of meekness and humility. Many ask the Lord to humble them, but are unwilling to submit to the needful discipline. When the test comes, when trials or even annoyances occur, the heart rebels, and the tongue utters words that are like poisoned arrows or blasting hail.
Evil-speaking is a two-fold curse, falling more heavily upon the speaker than upon the hearer. He who scatters the seeds of dissension and strife, reaps in his own soul the deadly fruits. How miserable is the tale-bearer, the surmiser of evil! He is a stranger to true happiness… The sin of evil-speaking begins with the cherishing of evil thoughts… Every unholy thought must be instantly repelled.
To your closet, followers of Christ. Pray in faith, and with all the heart. Satan is watching to ensnare your feet. You must have help from above if you would escape his devices.—Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 176, 177
E. G. White, With God At Dawn, p. 106
God does not want us to place ourselves upon the judgment-seat and judge each other. But how frequently this is done! Oh! how careful we should be lest we judge our brother. We are assured that as we judge, we shall be judged; that as we mete to others, it shall be measured to us again. Christ has said: “I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” In view of this, let your words be of such a character that they will meet the approval of God. When we see errors in others, let us remember that we have faults graver, perhaps in the sight of God, than the fault we condemn in our brother. Instead of publishing his defects, ask God to bless him, and to help him to overcome his error. Christ will approve of this spirit and action, and will open the way for you to speak a word of wisdom that will impart strength and help to him who is weak in the faith.
The work of building one another up in the most holy faith is a blessed work; but the work of tearing down is a work full of bitterness and sorrow. Christ identifies himself with his suffering children; for he says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” If all would carry out the instruction given by Christ, what love and unity would exist among his followers! Every heart has its own sorrows and disappointments, and we should seek to lighten one another’s burdens by manifesting the love of Jesus to those around us. If our conversation were upon heaven and heavenly things, evil-speaking would soon cease to have any attraction for us. We would not then be placing our feet on the enemy’s dangerous ground. We would not then be entering into temptation, or falling under the power of the evil one.
Instead of finding fault with others, let us be critical with ourselves. The question with each one of us should be, Is my heart right before God? Will this course of action glorify my Father which is in heaven? If you have cherished a wrong spirit, let it be banished from the soul. It is your duty to eradicate from your heart everything that is of a defiling nature; every root of bitterness should be plucked up, lest others be contaminated by its baleful influence. Do not allow one poisonous plant to remain in the soil of your heart. Root it out this very hour, and plant in its stead the plant of love. Let Jesus be enshrined in the soul.
E. G. White, Review And Herald, June 5, 1888