Mark 8:34 34And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] ……..
The next area we must learn to deny ourselves in is in the words of our mouths. Ephesians 4:29 advises us to 29Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. Every time I read this scripture I have to repent! There are so many times that the words of my mouth are not edifying. I wouldn’t say that I speak evil words necessarily, but this verse puts unwholesome or worthless talk in the same category. Proverbs 13:3 says He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. We need to be careful of what we are saying.
We also see in James 1:26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren). If we don’t get a hold of our mouths, then everything we do for God doesn’t have any value. This reminds me of that part of 1 Corinthians 13 where it says that if we lack love nothing we do really matters. It’s kind of scary to think that we can think we are living for the Lord, but because of wrong words we speak, our service to Him can mean nothing.
It’s not always easy to control our tongues, but if we are first denying ourselves in the area of our thoughts, it will be a whole lot easier to watch what we are saying. In Psalm 19:14 David says 14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my [firm, impenetrable] Rock and my Redeemer. Our thoughts and our words go hand in hand. Most of the time, what we say is the direct result of something we are thinking. I know occasionally we probably speak before we think, but if we make a habit of asking ourselves, “Is this going to edify or tear down?” before we speak the words we will begin to develop the habit of speaking only those things that are going to bless others. Proverbs 18:21 says 21Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
Today I encourage you to watch the words of your mouth. Is what you speak bringing death or life to the hearer? Strive to let your words only bless, never curse; always build up, never tear down; only encourage, never defeat; bring strength, not weaken; bring joy, not pain; be filled with truth, not deceit; and be what Jesus would say, not what the enemy would speak.