Why We Should Tame The Tongue

Philippians 4:9

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.



In this passage of Philippians, Paul is reminding the Philippians to keep there minds focused on the good of the Lord. He says whatever you do, think on what is pure, lovely, praise worthy etc. Then at the end he says in verse 9.” What ever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put into practice.”

It was interesting that this scripture came up this week in my regular devotion time. Not the first part about what we are to think about, but the second part about following Pauls example.  It’s been coming up all week to be truthful.

My Short Comings

Interesting because Jeffrey had clued me in on something about myself that I didn’t even notice.  So much so that I do not believe him.  Even now.  He said that when we were around another married couple a few weeks ago, my demeanor changed and I used a swear word.

Now, I do not remember using a swear word, but he says I did.  He is very sensitive to cussing.  He doesn’t like it when I swear.  Not even a little.  I however, will use a few different words when I am mad.  I try to hold them and use something different especially when I am around Jeffrey.  Sometimes, though when I am with certain friends I feel a bit more free to vent my frustrations with a swear word or two.  So I guess it’s possible.

Now I tried to argue that it really doesn’t matter if I use a swear word or a different word that means the same thing.  What’s the difference?  My heart is the same.  But really since that conversation the Lord has been convicting me.  Showing me that Jeffrey was right, “cough” and I was, “gulp” wrong.  UGH!  I do not like being wrong, but I will say it again just to be humble.  I WAS WRONG.. ?

The Word

Paul says in Philippians to do what he does.  To follow his example.  Why?  Because Paul is faithful to follow Christ’s example.   What ever, we have learned, received, heard, or seen Paul do, to do it too.  Paul wouldn’t have used swear words.  Ephesians 5:4 says;

Ephesians 5:4 

Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, …

In this part of Ephesians the Word says to follow God’s example, then lists a few things we should not do.  This part of course is about our language.   So with His own Words, the Lord convicted me and confirmed what my husband pointed out to me, I should not be using obscenities in my conversations.  With the tongue I praise the Lord and use curse words.  According to James, this should not be.

James 3:7-12

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?  My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

The end of this week I came across one more verse.  I assume the Lord is just driving home his point.  Or maybe He was kind enough to give it to me to add to this post.  Thank you Jesus.

Ephesians 4:1  

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Using swear words, even when I am angry is NOT living a life worthy of my calling.  I was called to show the world Jesus.  His Spirit lives in me and I am to live as He has asked me to.  To try to be like him.  To follow Paul’s example.


Do you have trouble with your words sometimes?  (The leave a comment link is at the top of this post) If so, I hope these scriptures are helpful to you.  I pray they encourage you to tame your tongue a bit more.  I am working on it.






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