by Rebecca Murzin
And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. – James 3:6
The tongue is a powerful thing. We can curse, bless, build up, tear down, bring pain, give joy, encourage, spread gossip, share good news or destroy. For such a powerful tool we often handle it with so little care or thought. The tongue is a fire. A fire needs fuel. It needs oxygen and wood. A fire must be fed. Our tongues also must be fed. We feed our tongue out of the abundance of our heart. Jesus taught us this when he said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) We can easily check our own hearts if we begin to actually listen to the words we speak.
We are always feeding our tongue. The question then becomes what are we feeding it? Are we meditating and thinking on things that are true, just pure, of a good report, praiseworthy, and lovely (Philippians 4:8)? Or are we thinking on things of the flesh such as fornication, hatred, strife, and envy (Galatians 5:19-21)? If these things come to mind, are we taking our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)? If not, we should be.
It’s spring time, life is beginning to bloom all around us. this is the time of year when gardeners and farmers begin preparing their soil for planting. They will put all kinds of fertilizer on the ground, till the ground many times, pick rocks and make sure it’s perfect for planting. They will carefully choose their seeds and decide what should be planted and where it should be planted. Everything is carefully prepared. During the summer they maintain the garden by removing things that have popped up like weeds that should not be there. When they do this, they reap a harvest of good food often so abundant they share with their friends and neighbors. When they do not, the harvest is usually not as good and they have very little. This is a habit we can learn from. We should take the time to nurture the soil of our heart. Prepare the ground and carefully and thoughtfully plant good things. Take regular time to weed out things that have crept in and popped up. This can take time to develop, but just like any good habit, it’s worth all the effort. And just as the farmer we will produce an abundance of good fruit that will bless all those around us.
How can we begin to change the unhealthy soil of our hearts? By fertilizing it. We need to plant the word of God in our hearts, let the Holy Spirit till the ground and guide us, listen to praise music, and fellowship with other believers. Then let the abundance be freely given to all those around you. Let us not damage and destroy by the things we speak but rather use the fire of our tongue to refine, purify, and lead others to Christ. Happy planting season brothers and sisters! I pray we can work as a family to help pull the weeds out of each other’s gardens together without offense and share the beautiful fruit that is produced with our surrounding communities.