“But now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth.”
We can be on the Christian pathway a long time and yet fall prey to all these wrongs. We can easily be overcome, especially when we feel our needs are not being met and we are suffering. The Lord permits such things and will always supply our needs according to His riches in Christ. He will not necessarily give us all we feel we require, but will meet us at our deepest human and spiritual needs and be near to us. God will give us the power to be strong in Him and to overcome as victors in Christ.
They way we speak, even to ourselves, can be an indicator of our spiritual temperature and how godly we are living our lives. The book of James is very helpful for this task of judging our speaking and vocabulary. We can all fall into bad habits and we need the power of the Holy Spirit to keep us pure and living and speaking as we should live for the glory of God.
The Apostle Paul has another list for us here, of the hearts sins that keep us away from the heat of spiritual communion with our Father in heaven. They are all inhabitants of every human heart and we must face our part in keeping them alive in our psyche to our hurt. They must be faced and confessed and put to flight every day. No one is free from them until God makes us perfect in the coming kingdom, when Jesus will return to earth for His people and we shall be free from the taint of all sin.
The primary sin here, is the sinful anger that cascades out of us in moments of rage. We can be so full of wrath that we lose our sense of ourselves and lose control of our Christian demeanour. Our speaking also becomes angry and shameful and we present ourselves as out of control. It is easy to fall into this and to allow ourselves to be manipulated by other people and their mindset, and become taken in by their false living and lying ways. We must seek the pathway of Christ first and foremost in all our thinking and speaking and seek the control of the Spirit of God in every aspect of our living. Our pattern is Christ and not the way other people might present themselves to us.
The sins of the tongue are the fruit of the undisciplined mind and the inability to control what we think about and how we process events and what we hear. If we can control our tongues then our minds are shown to be also under control and we have the ability to speak kindly and well towards others. If there is wrong things being said, we have no part in gossip, which destroys the gossip and the person being gossiped about. It is too easy to justify ourselves in this regard, and to let ourselves off the hook and give ourselves permission to speak disparagingly about other people. We can all fall into this trap, and we seek the wisdom of the Lord as we speak with friends and family to be fair and honest and not destroy a person’s character in what we say about them.
Beloved, we guard our hearts with great jealousy for we are beloved of the Lord. Let no unwholesome talk come out of us, but all to the glory of God, which resides within us and will shine through in all we say and do.