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.

4 ways to tame your tongue
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. Patricia Avatar

    This is such a necessary and timely reminder. And yes, this goes for the words we type and share too!

  2. Julie I Aloha Lovely Avatar

    I’m currently working on this with my 9 year old. We need to pause and reflect before we speak.

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I am also trying to teach this to my kids. Thanks for commenting

  3. Julie Hoag Avatar

    I agree, with social media it is so easy to be rude or hurt someone’s feelings. Not enough people care about that because they are looking at a screen, not the actual person. Great post and good things for us all to think about.

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      It’s so easy to write without thinking because we are not looking at them. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting

  4. Krysten Avatar

    I have been thinking of this exact thing lately. I think that sometimes I let my tongue get away from me. I don’t mean to, I just don’t know how to tame it. Thank you for this post!

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for commenting

  5. Jessica Avatar

    It’s so important especially now to have an open mind and think before speaking or making judgement.

  6. Keisha Russell Avatar

    Great post with such great advice. I loved “listen” the most! Often at times it is so hard to just listen without speaking.

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      Your so right, I find I am guilty of spending the time I should be listing thinking about other things.

  7. Lauren Avatar

    So much truth to this! Thanks for sharing!


    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      thanks for reading and commenting

  8. Elaine | thisgratefulmama.com Avatar

    Love how this post gives practical ways to get control over the tongue. So often as a mom, I speak to fast to my kids and I long to slow down and use my words to encourage and reach their hearts, not just react to the circumstance. Thanks!

    1. Anne Markey Avatar

      I’m in the same boat! I am too harsh with my words when I shouldn’t be

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