How Can I Learn to Control My Tongue?

Spill The Beans

Dear Jennifer,

I just completed your Bible study Me, Myself and Lies.  It was extremely rewarding and beneficial to me.  I just have one question.  First, a little background on me.  I have been very blessed.  I was raised in church by great parents and married a great Christian man and have two daughters.

I try so diligently to lead a devout Christian life in my job.  Most people at my job do not lead Christian lifestyles, so I feel I have to work extremely hard to lead by example.  I have one serious problem that I really have trouble keeping under control, and that is my mouth.  I can’t keep anything a secret.  I pray everyday that God will help me keep my mouth shut.

I have really been very good all year until now.  I overheard something about my boss that involved my co-workers, and we were discussing it before work one morning.  Later, somehow the boss heard about it and confronted me in front of my peers.  Very embarrassing.  I do not understand why I always get caught.  Everyone was discussing it, but he only heard that it was me.  It ruined my entire Christmas vacation and I am in deep depression.

What do you do if you have these bad thoughts in your thought closet and they are warranted?  I am truly in the wrong and I should not be gossiping.  I do not want to be known as a gossip.  I want to be able to keep my mouth shut.  The only thing I know to do is to isolate myself at work and just stay to myself.  I do not have any good feelings in my thought closet at all now about myself.

-Anonymous-

Jennifer’s Anwser:

Dear Sister,

Oh, I hear your heart.  I am sorry you have no good feelings in your thought closet about yourself right now.  Thankfully, feelings change so I am counting on our Father to remind you of truth so your feelings will line up and obey His Word. But, you asked me what to do.  After really thinking about this, praying about your situation and realizing how much I struggle, too, with controlling my mouth….

Here’s what I do–stop trying and die to yourself. 

Self control is a fruit of the spirit, not a fruit of your striving.  Admit you are powerless to control your mouth and that you need God’s power to override your flesh.  This admission should fill your thought closet with freedom and truth, and thus, appropriate feelings about yourself.  You are not able to pull off perfect obedience in your own power; you need God.

Dying to self so He can be alive in you will allow you to see yourself in the shadow of the cross.  In that position, you will see your great value and your great need.  Do not despair, do not give up, and do not isolate yourself.  Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.  Dying to self is the lesson I am learning, and dying hurts.  But there is great freedom there.  When you are no longer stifling the fruit of God’s spirit by your own striving, the fruit of self control, joy, meekness and myriad other fruit will spring out of you in spite of yourself!  Isn’t that what we want sister?!

A practical thing I do is pray the Scripture in Psalm 19:13, 14.  Actually, meditating upon all of Psalm 19 will fill your thought closet with hopeful truth.  Also, I meditate upon and pray James1:19–that God would make me quick to listen and slow to speak–since I am naturally the opposite of that!

The last thing you should do is beat yourself up.You made a mistake.  Remember that who you are and what you struggle with are not the same thing!  The enemy is the one who likes to beat us up; don’t help him.  God gives you grace.  Give grace to yourself, too.  Trust God more than your feelings.  Walk humbly with your God as you walk through your days in your job and others will see a flawed, grace-filled, redeemed, loving, beautiful woman.  That, my friend, is who you are, so put that in your thought closet from me!

With love, Jennifer

What Bible verses would you suggest to help our friend? Leave a comment here.

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