New Hope Notes

Taming The Tongue
Me And My Big Mouth

Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
June 7, 2009 - W0923

Open your mouth and say aahhh! This is what the doctor says to us when he looks in our mouths. And he does this to get a general sense of our health. Did you know the Bible mentions the tongue? It sure does! It says the way we use our tongues or the way we speak gives a general sense of our health. What? Well, because our tongues have the capability to break relationships. And, it can heal them as well. Therefore, a lot can be determined in the way we speak.


A lot of times, we see the problem in other people much sooner than we see it ourselves. Yet, we have problems as well. Take a look here at what the Bible says about our words.


 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:37).


 In addition, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Prov. 18:21). 


This tongue is an interesting part of the body. Although it is smaller than most parts of the body, did you know it requires taming? Yes, it does. And, there are three ways to control the tongue.


Basically, our words…



“…the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire. The tongue…defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison”. (Jam. 3:5-6, 8). This tells us we can build relationships with words. And, destroy relationships with words.


In addition, our words also…



We can go to church for hundreds of years. Yet, if we are not able to control our tongues, our maturity is still in kindergarten. Why? Because our tongue determines our maturity.  In other words, our tongue is a barometer.


“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1Tim. 4:12). Here, God has placed the word “speech” with conduct, love faith and purity. Therefore, be an example to others by your speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.


For example, the other week while taking a flight to Nashville, an announcement came over the speaker while we were waiting for our seating assignment. The announcement stated that the plane for our flight was not there. Therefore, we would need to be re-routed.


Immediately after this announcement a lady stood up quickly and went up to the ticket agent who was Hispanic.  The lady was irate and she starting yelling at the ticket agent. She complained about how much money she paid for her ticket and demanded for the plane! As is, the ticket agent responded courteously with, we will re-route you if it’s alright.


Upset and relentless the lady exclaimed, can’t you see I’m having an anxiety attack! Again the ticket agent was really nice and says to her, do you want me to call 911? Frustrated at this, the lady continued complaining saying; you’re just not feeling anything for me are you? You don’t care, don’t you? And the ticket agent calmly responded with, I’m trying to get you the best connection I can.


Still upset, the lady cried out, you’re not hearing what I’m saying! I’m just feeling terrible! And the nice ticket agent replied if you’ll just settle down it’ll help me get a connection for you. By this time I thought, wow! The ticket agent deserves an award for this!


Yet again the lady demanded for an answer with, why are we late? And although the ticket agent was busy on the computer her response was, if you’ll just be quiet I can go ahead and finish your connection. At that point we were wondering when this lady was going to explode. And she did by yelling, you don’t even understand what I’m saying! And it’s because you don’t even understand English! After hearing this, the ticket agent simply says, I am Hispanic. But I understand you very clearly. Wow! Amazed at this, I thought, bless that woman’s heart!


Well, as it were this lady kept going on and on. By then, I thought, lady! You’d better zip it already. Because the ticket agent is going to give you a chalupa in your burrito!


As you can see, our words do determine our maturity. Although Christians, we too can run into the same problems. It is during those in opportune moments when our emotions get a rise. And then our tongues have no control. Yet, if God is says our tongues and words determine our relationships and maturity, it is important for us to control our tongues,”Be quick to hear, slow to speak and be slow to anger. For the anger of man will not achieve the righteousness of God” (Jam. 1:19).


So how do we control our tongues? It’s real easy. There are three ways. The first is…







Take a look at what scriptures tell us, “I said, ‘I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle’” (Psm. 39:1). In other words, be quiet.


However, please understand this silence is not moodiness. Nor is it a tantrum. Or marginalizing someone by giving them the silent treatment. It is simply silencing the angry tongue. And this is part of disciplining yourself. No one can do this for you but you.


So before you press enter to an angry email you just typed to someone, wait a day before you send it. Another form of silence would be simple as just taking a walk. Or, going to the bathroom and yelling in the toilet if need be. Please remember that our words will we be justified and by our words we will be condemned. Therefore, it is very important for us to control our tongues.


Here is a quick and simple illustration of what an untamed tongue can do. A man gets yelled at work by his boss. And at the end of the day he goes home and then yells at his wife. And this infection spreads throughout the family because now the wife yells at their son. The son then punches his sister. And the sister then kicks the dog. The dog then bites the cat. And, the cat bites the head off the doll. All in all, it’s a domino effect. So if you get yelled at by your boss, just go home and bite the head off the doll! By doing so, it’ll save everybody!


 The second way to control the tongue is to…





What’s this? Well, a lightning rod is a device to protect a building from lighting. It’s a metal rod that is placed on the highest part of a building. Its purpose is to protect the building from lightning by conducting the lightning to the ground. Therefore, if lightning strikes a building that does not have a lightning rod, lightning will go through the wires and fry all the electronic equipment in the building. However, if a building has a lightning rod, the lightning will seek the lightning rod. By doing so, the rod saves the building from harm.


As for us, a lightning rod is someone who loves Jesus, loves you, in that order. It is someone who is a friend. It is someone whom you have given permission to speak into your life. This is why it is absolutely crucial for each one of us to identify someone whom we give permission to speak in to our lives. It is to help control our tongues and it is a part of our growing up in Christ.


Above all, this person will speak into you life about your marriage, finances, attitude, moods, activities and your actions. Here is what the Bible says about this kind of friend, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Pro. 18:24). Hence, when you find a friend who is a lightning rod in your life, hang on to them.


Again the Bible says we won’t have too many of these. For it says, too many friends cometh to ruin. But there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother”. So identify this person in your life. And when you need someone to talk to, this person will already be in your life.


I had a friend who was a lightning rod in my life. But he has passed on. He was a wonderful old man who was like a grandfather to me. Whenever I’d get upset, I’d call him. Let me just say, He was a person who would never take sides. Nor would he bear a grudge or shoulder an offense along side with me. Whenever I was upset, he’d say, Wayne come on over, let’s have some soup.


Yes soup! I remember him making some soup as I sat in a chair. Although I was upset, he would calm my spirit down by saying, let’s just have some soup. He was indeed a friend who stuck closer than a brother to me.


Moreover, if you’re married, your spouse may or may not be your lightning rod. As for me, my wife Anna is not a lightning rod to me. She loves me so much that if someone offends me, she’d get upset at that person. So to protect her, I share the victory side. In other words, I work it through, and then I’d share it with her.  


The final and third way to control the tongue is,





David cried out in the backside of the desert. Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet because he would go down the banks of the river and weep before God.  Joseph was in the midst of prison walls crying out to God. Others such as Job and Samson also cried out to God. Even Jesus himself cried out to God in the Garden of Gethsemane.


Listen, sometimes, the only time you’ll be delivered is when you come to the point of crying out to God. “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of the distresses” (Psm 107:6). As for me, I often end up yelling at people because I seldom cry out to God. So cry out to God.


The following are scriptures of a mother crying out for her child and a blind beggar. Listen to their emotions “A Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed’” (Mat. 15:22).  “When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47).


Listen, crying out does not mean complaining to God. Nor is it getting mad at God. Neither is it rehearsing your hurts before God. It is not grumbling as well. But in fact, it is finally surrendering your will to God.


When you have come to that point of surrender, God takes over. You see, the Bible says, “When I am weak He is strong”. However, if I refuse to be weak I will never find Him strong. It’s a pivotal point in time when you say, I can’t do it anymore! This is when the window of heaven opens and where grace and strength of the divine Creator of the universe is released on your behalf!  


How often we go about our lives thinking life is about us. Thinking, God exists for us. If you think this way then you’ll try to go through life on your own. And God will need to bring you to a precipice, a cliff or something where you’ll have no choice but to cry out to God. Then you’ll realize it’s the other way around. And then say, oh this movie is not about me after all. Aha!


It is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His own begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16). Therefore, It’s all about Him. It’s all about what Jesus wants to do in this world, for people like us. Therefore, it is fitting for us to yield our lives to Him.


Thus, let us tame our tongues for our words will determine our relationships and our maturity. And yes, we can control our tongues by first, being silent. And secondly, to find or identify someone who is a lightning rod in our life. For men, let this be another male. And for women, let it be another female. Allow these lightning rods to speak into your life because they love Jesus and you, in that order.


And finally when things go from bad to worse and most importantly, cry out to God in prayer. Only then will your world come back into balance once again. And with it, the power of God is released in your behalf. He is the Creator and we are His people. All glory and honor are His! And we exist for Him!





Q1) How have your words determined your relationships with your spouse, parents & children?


Q2) In what practical ways can you be silent before yelling at someone?


Q3) Who is the lightning rod in your life? Or, is there someone who could be?


Q4) When was the last time you cried out to God in prayer?


Q5) How will you be a better person & exist for God?