Taming that Tongue!

Our tongues can bless, gripe, complain, and communicate the gospel—all within a matter of minutes! Tongues can inspire the hardest heart or crush a tender spirit. Proverbs 21:23 warns us to “guard the tongue” in order to stay out of trouble.

But how?

Most of us would probably tend to agree that guarding, or taming, our tongues is ultimately a deep-rooted heart-issue. But . . . could part of the heart purification process involve the difficult choice to bridle our tongues?

James warns us that we need not boast about our Christianity if we’re not actively working to “bridle our tongues.” Just as a horse needs a bridle to direct his course, we need to put “bridles” or disciplines in place that will help in taming our tongues.

While James states that no one (in their own power) can “tame the tongue,” thankfully, God provides all you need to discipline this unruly critter (2 Peter 1:3-8)! As you cooperate with Him, here are some practical tips to help you tame that unruly tongue.

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal when your tongue does not glorify Christ, and for grace to speak life-giving words (Ephesians 4:29).
Ask for input from family members and friends. This can be humiliating but it allows those who know us best to uncover “blind spots.” Please be prepared with a receptive heart! (Proverbs 27:5-6)
Post Scriptures which apply to the tongue and begin memorizing them.
Ask a friend to hold you accountable. Share specific areas of need and pray together for victory and grace.
• Practice the principle of crying out for HELP!
When tempted: Stop. Close your mouth. Take a deep breath and cry out for God’s grace to overcome the temptation!
Use less words. Practice the spiritual discipline of “quiet.”
Learn to HALT!

This list is far from complete. I would love for you to add a few tips of your own below!

Originally posted 02.10.11 at

One Comment

  • Tambra Lucas

    Colossians 2:6,7 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. Rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

    We should be humbly thankful to God for our salvation. If we are thankful for our salvation we will strive to be righteous in our daily living. We will want to honor God with every word out of our mouths.
    So many times we as believers speak as if we have ungrateful hearts. It is such a dishonor to God to be chronic complainers, whining and griping should not be a part of our speech. Nor should we speak with harsh tones or attitudes,( I have done this before ) God has so worked on me in this area! So thankful. And never should we use words carelessly like slinging garbage around. One thing that grieves me more than anything is to see people that profess to be Christ followers and to use fowl language, I have seen this quite often since I work in the public, this should never be a part of a believers life! This can ruin a believers witness faster than anything, I think. Ephesians 4:29 Says; Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but what is good and necessary for edification. We as believers should take a minute to think before we speak, and ask ourselves will this glorify God? Is what I am about to say honoring the suffering of Christ on the cross? He so deserves our devotion and honor to Him and we must show a watching world we are genuine, and live to honor His Word.