Oh, Be Careful, Little Tongue

Even though we often think of it as a child’s song, I can still recall the tune and lyrics to a popular, yet powerful, childhood Sunday school favorite of mine…

O be careful, little eyes, what you see…
O be careful, little ears, what you hear…
O be careful, little hands, what you do…
O be careful, little feet, where you go…
O be careful, little mouth, what you say…

O, the power of my tongue! Peter knew all too well its abilities to build up and tear down. He knew an uncontrolled tongue is extremely harmful and dangerous to not only the body of Christ, but also in our relationships with each other.

“For He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and
his lips from speaking deceit.” (1 Peter 3:10 NKJV) The Old Testament warns us about avoiding gossip and speaking evil towards others. Leviticus 19:16 advises you and me to not spread slander among God’s people. Proverbs 20:19 instructs us to not associate with anyone who is a talebearer (one who reveals secrets).

The New Testament reminds us to put away wicked use of our tongues. Ephesians 4:31 NKJV  says “Let ALL bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice”, and Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV tells us to “…be imitators of God.”

An uncontrolled tongue is so dangerous:
Impulsive spoken words can render serious consequences (Mark 6:22-28).
Careless spoken words can influence and affect one’s life for a long time 
Hasty, indiscreet spoken words can bring heartache and pain on the one speaking out of control (Proverbs 21:231 Peter 3:10). 
Irresponsible, unharness spoken words weaken, even destroy, our testimony and can render us useless in the eyes of God (James 1:26).

Peter gives us three reasons why we should follow the example of Christ (1 Peter 2:21-24) especially when others hurt us:
1. When we give a blessing to others, especially those who hurt us, we receive a blessing in return (1 Peter 3:9).
2. Positive responses on our part produce a posture of enjoyment and love for life in general (1 Peter 3:10).
3. Finally, God hears the prayers of those who follow Christ’s pattern and turns His face against those who don’t (1 Peter 3:12).
Seeking peace and pursuing it by disciplining our tongue has practical life rewards and is wise in all relationships (1 Peter 3:11).

“Oh be careful, little mouth, what you say…” 

(Kimberly Ruoff)
Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.

Based on How to Do Life Regardless of the Circumstances on November 18th, 2017 - Watch Sermon

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