How Should Sanctification Affect the Tongue?

Not only is a loose tongue nothing to boast about, but it’s simply not the way a Christian should behave.

With man, taming the tongue is an impossible task indeed. However, with God, nothing is impossible. Even the tongue can be tamed by the work of the Spirit in sanctification. In Romans 8, Paul contrasted the life that is controlled by the flesh versus the life controlled by the Spirit. One leads to death while the other leads to life and peace. One is lawless while the other is submissive to God’s law (Rom. 8:2-8).

 

Edward Hall, born January 15 1988, is a former professional strongman—known for his world record deadlift of 1,102 lbs in the 2016 World’s Strongest Man competition. The training and lifting that’s required to arrive at an elite level strongman competition requires a balance of discipline and sheer power. Without proper discipline, the goals will not be met, but without the power, the athlete will not be able to compete at the highest level of strongman competition.

When it comes to the human body, we can train and discipline our body to achieve great goals. Marathon runners can train their bodies to run 26.2 miles in just over 2 hours. Weight lifters can train their bodies to lift massive weight that would crush an average man. However, there is one small member of our body that cannot be tamed. Listen to how James describes the tongue:

James 3:5–12 – So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! [6] 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. [7] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, [8] but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. [9] With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. [10] From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. [11] Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? [12] Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

With man, this is an impossible task indeed. However, with God, nothing is impossible. Even the tongue can be tamed by the work of the Spirit in sanctification. In Romans 8, Paul contrasted the life that is controlled by the flesh versus the life controlled by the Spirit. One leads to death while the other leads to life and peace. One is lawless while the other is submissive to God’s law (Rom. 8:2-8).

Occasionally you will hear someone talk about how they can’t control their tongue. They readily and almost with a prideful attitude boast about not having a filter to control their speech. Not only is a loose tongue nothing to boast about, but it’s simply not the way a Christian should behave.

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