4 ways to tame your tongue

Words can be used to build up or to destroy. They are extremely powerful. Today, I want to share 4 ways to tame your tongue.

Today, I am so happy to have worked with Amber, she shares with us something that we can all relate to.  Learn more about Amber at the bottom of this blog post. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

a group of women standing in a semmi circle laughing together. Over the picture are the words: Be careful what you say, 4 ways to tame your tongue

Her words hadn’t meant to hurt me but, in all actuality, they were like a knife cutting into all of my most vulnerable places. I had been silently grappling with the same questions and ponderings she was asking me for months – but somehow someone else asking me these same things threatened to break me in two. She, who was talking to me, has a beautiful heart. She wasn’t for a minute trying to break me – she was trying to understand me and encourage me.

James 3:5 The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes frear boasts. Cconsider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

We can all relate

We can all point to instances in our lives when our words tore someone down, or when someone’s words tore us down and we wanted to tame your tongue. Hopefully, we are more quick to recall times when other people have used their words to encourage us.

In today’s world, it may not be anything we say that hurts people, it may be the words we write. In an era of social media, it is a lot easier to say things we would never say to someone’s face because we can hide behind a screen.

When we read verses about the tongue, let’s use those same ideas and apply them to what we write.

4 ways to tame your tongue

1. Check our heart

Words need to be intentional before we even open our mouths (or put our fingers on the keys). We need to pray that what comes out would glorify God. We may have the best of intentions but if it is not subject to God’s glory, it will fail – every single time.

Something that may sound encouraging in our ears comes across as hurtful to the receiver. So then, how can we make sure we are using our words to truly build another up?

2. Pray

The most important thing we can do is to pray and ask God to use our words to help and not to hurt. We can pray that we would get out of the way and allow God to work.

I have had times where I was more concerned about being the person that gives my friend the perfect word, than praying and making sure what I was saying would actually be helpful.

God wants to work through us, but it’s important that we rid ourselves of pride first.

3. Listen

We are so quick to talk but the Bible actually tells us to be slow to speak

James 1:19

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

 I strongly believe much of the above problem would be fixed if we just took the time to really listen to each other. Actively listening does not mean we are only halfway listening.

Instead of thinking about our response will be –listen to what they are saying. Practice not forming a response until your friend is done talking. It is only then that we will hear fully and be able to respond with wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 says

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.

Asking questions will help us to better understand where the friend is coming from. May I encourage you to ask questions that aren’t going to do further damage to that friend?

Say for instance your friend had a miscarriage. Asking her why it happened will only hurt her more. However, asking “I don’t understand the pain you are walking through, never have gone through it myself, can you help me to better understand how you are feeling and what (if anything) I can do to help?” will open up a healing door for your friend.  

4. Tame your tongue- Remember the golden rule

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:37, 39‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’…And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

We must keep in mind how we would want to be talked to if we were going through the same circumstance.

Ask yourself “is what I am trying to say true, noble, helpful? Will it encourage or discourage?” These questions will further help our response to be given in wisdom.

A final thought I want to share is we need to be careful to avoid the “snare of offence”. It seems like everyone is offended by something these days. If our friend unintentionally hurts us with their words, let us not set up a tent in the land of offence.

There is no need to camp there. Forgive your friend just as Christ has forgiven you and move on. If you feel it would help you to talk to your friend and let them know their words hurt you, do so but please don’t stay offended.

Choose your words carefully, aim to bless and not to harm!

In the comments below, share ways that help you tame your tongue. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

a women talking on her cell phone. Below the picture are the words: 4 ways to watch what you say. www.onedeterminelife.com

48 responses to “4 ways to tame your tongue”

  1. Marta Rivera Avatar

    Ufff! Taming my tongue is the toughest thing for me to do, but I do realize how important it is!

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      Me too!! It’s a daily struggle!

  2. Tasheena @ SimplyTasheena.com Avatar

    This is s wonderful post. It’s so easy to speak without even thinking twice about what you’re saying or how it may affect someone or your life.

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      It is easy to speak without thought. I think we are all guilty of this at one point or another.

  3. Sarah Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing this truly inspirational article! 🙂

  4. Jenny Avatar

    This post definitely has some great points to keep in mind. It’s important to remember that we should hold our tongue sometimes instead of spewing mean things when we’re upset.

  5. Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms Avatar

    This is such an important reminder! I like the part about not staying offended. It’s easy to be offended by someone else’s words, but it’s important to recognize their intentions and not cause more strife for yourself by staying upset.

  6. Michaela Avatar

    This is a great topic of conversation. Anymore it feels like people don’t think about the staying power their words have on the greater whole of our experience. We really do need to slow down and think about the long-term effect.

  7. Lynn Woods Avatar
    Lynn Woods

    This is so true! When I was younger, I never really understood the power of the words I speak. Glad I learned that lesson, but I’m definitely a work in progress!

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I was the same. Like you, I am still very much a working progress.

  8. Katie Avatar

    I love this post. I have been reflecting a lot lately on how to really try an encourage others because that is what this world needs. I agree that prayer is best. I also really like the idea of not setting up a tent in offense. We should keep an open mind and learn to forgive.

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I agree. There is so much negativity and there is so much we can do to not add to it. Most of what can say starts with our heart attitude. Thanks for commenting

  9. Calleigh Keibler - TheForkBite Avatar

    We’ve all said something that we later regret during a moment of nervousness or anger or even insecurity. I know it’s a sinking feeling, realizing that we have caused a real pain in someone else just because we can’t tame our mouth. Thanks for sharing these useful tips.

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      Yes, I am so glad that I’m not the only one and we can all relate. It’s good to know that we are not alone but that we can learn to be better

  10. Jordan Avatar

    I love this! Such a important thing to discuss, and one I honestly think we forget about so often! Thanks for sharing your heart!

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I agree, we often don’t talk about this struggle. Thanks for commenting

  11. Sharon Avatar

    This is so true! Sometimes I can let a nasty attitude take over my tongue and I regret it immediately. Thanks for the tips for keeping it under control!

  12. Elinam Avatar

    I absolutely love this! There are many Bible references to the power of the tongue. That should be a good indication of its importance.

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      Yes, your so right. We often forget the power of our words

  13. Jordyn Galan Avatar

    These are all great tops! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely need to use these in the next few weeks.

  14. Christy Avatar

    Years ago I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of the agreements is to be impeccable with your word. Often we fail to realize the power of the word. Great blog!

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      Your so right! Words are incredibly powerful

  15. Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat. Avatar

    This is so hard for me and something I have really been struggling with lately, especially with my kids. Sometimes a really ugly person takes control of my tongue and I’m so embarrassed that my kids heard me speak like that. Thank you for your encouragement!

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I am the same way with my kids. Sometimes I am so surprised with what actually comes out of my mouth. I am so glad you’re encouraged.

  16. Meredith Avatar

    Great advice! I agree that if people spent more time truly listening, instead of just thinking about their next comment or statement, communication would improve.

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I am trying to practice active listing. I think it helps me in the long run.

  17. Gem Avatar

    Such a great reminder! We all need one sometimes!

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I know I do! I sometimes don’t control what I say and end up regretting it.

  18. Anisa Avatar

    This is a great post ! Sometimes I’m stuck between wanting to say something that’s not nice or letting it slide . I’m glad I read this !

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I think we all struggle with this! Your not alone

  19. Amanda Avatar

    I think this is really important especially with all the negativity in the world. People seem to have forgotten the “love thy neighbour” rule lately. When are we going to get back to peace and harmony?

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I so agree. With the internet, it’s so much easier to hate and judge then love

  20. Nicole Avatar

    This post came at the perfect time! I’m literally having a tough conversation over text with a friend right now where I’m stuck between letting the hurtful thing slip out, or taming my tongue.

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I hope reading this helped give you wisdom as how to respond.

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