February 12, 2009
When it comes to our tongue, we are all tempted at every turn to use it wrongly. But remember that regardless of the circumstances or our surroundings, we still make the choice about what comes out of our mouth. Temptation is always there but we choose whether or not to fall into it.
Something we don’t usually think about when we read these verses on the tongue is that gossip and profanity are not the only way we can misuse it. Are you a hypocrite teaching others something you don’t do yourself? Do you criticize others, especially behind their back? During solemn moments do you engage in levity or small talk that distracts from what is going on? When you retell a story do you exaggerate to impress others? Do you always tell the truth even if it means you loose face, friends or finances?
The best way to avoid falling into the temptation trap is to make up your mind beforehand what you will and will not do. Discernment goes a long way. Be on your guard and watch for what is wrong and recognize it for what it is. Be prepared before you face the situation and pray for God to keep you strong so you will not so easily slip into participating in it.
“Watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak.” Matthew 26:41
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Draw a line in the sand and say I will not go there. Then when you hear or see things you shouldn’t or are tempted to say the wrong thing you will recognize it for what it is and since you’ve already committed to stay away from that, you will have an easier time resisting. Our bodies are weak, but the Holy Spirit is stronger and God can help us to resist it.