How Do I Control My Mouth?
“The tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to teach you how to control your mouth? It took me forever to learn how to do this; and I couldn’t do it, on my own. It wasn’t until I came to know Christ closely that He taught me just how extremely important my words actually were. Before that, I didn’t really care what I said or how I said it—or to whom I said it to.
For years, I was a Christian who couldn’t give a rip about my words. I’d be the first to slam someone on social media, or in real life, completely dishonoring them. I’d be quick to voice something negative about another individual, send a nasty text, or jump in on a conversation where someone was getting verbally destroyed; it didn’t matter if I liked them or not. Plus, I always added my own fuel to the fire of the gossip—gossiping was almost a hobby for me.
I WAS A CHRISTIAN WHO COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT I SAID. PERIOD. I HAD NO HOLY SPIRIT FILTER. My mind hadn’t yet been renewed.
I’d slander others on a whim, it didn’t matter if they were standing in the room next to me, or in the other room; then I’d get mad at them if they took offense to my so-called joking, “Oh you’re just being a baby.” I’d poke fun at people with no regard for their feelings, and then I’d resent them for being so “sensitive.” I think back now, on some of the stuff I said to people—my wife, kids, friends, employees, and even some of my enemies—and I cringe. If I’m not careful, I can allow the enemy to make me think that’s who I still am, but I’m not. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says otherwise, that I’m a new creation in Christ!
Although I’ll let one slip out now and again, and I don’t like it, back then I’d curse left and right as if I just got out of military training—and I wouldn’t even think twice about it. “Don’t you dare judge me!” was how I responded when I got called out on just how foul my language was.
I WAS A SLAVE TO MY MOUTH—my flesh. And my soul—my mind, my words, and my emotions—hadn’t yet caught up with Christ who was in me. Oh, and if you wanted to get into an argument with me?…Brace yourself…I was one of the best when it came to insults and verbalizing “what all is wrong with YOU!”
My problem was, as a Christian—a person who Christ Himself indwelled—I would not allow Him to control my mouth. He was there, infused with my spirit (see Romans 6, Galatians 2:20), but I had Him gagged by my own free will. He was in me, but I wouldn’t allow Him to exude any self-control out of me. Although, that is a fruit of the Spirit—self-control (see Galatians 5:22, 23)—something which should grow from me, organically, without effort, as a Christian.
Still yet, I refused to listen to Him which resulted in my mouth controlling me, which constantly caused severe trouble in my life. This is why the Bible says, “The power of life and death is in the tongue” (see Proverbs 18:21). James, the half-brother of Jesus, even makes the claim that our tongues are like small sparks which can set an entire forest ablaze (see James 3:5).
I kept hearing in my spirit, “Matt, watch what you say.” “Maaaaatt, do NOT say that.” “Matthew, don’t send that text.” “Matt! Please, don’t post that!” Even now, I still hear these things, and when I do, I try my best listen and obey, and I use God’s grace to give me the strength to pull it off. Sure, I fail sometimes, but my goodness, I’m so much better than I used to be!
The main reason why I didn’t control my mouth was because I had no respect for Jesus, because I still didn’t know Him very well. He had saved me from hell, and that was about it. So how could I possibly let Him live through me if I wasn’t deeply acquainted with Him? I couldn’t. I needed to get to know Him, and to this very day I’m still doing that.
Thankfully, God has promised me that this process of getting to know Him will not end until I shed this body-shell (see Philippians 1:6). So I’m always confident in the fact that Jesus is constantly taking me up to new levels of intimacy and knowledge of Him—but today, right now, this very moment—I have all the knowledge I need to accomplish what He wants me to accomplish, today. This is why the Bible says God takes us from glory to glory as we learn more about His will, which is Jesus Christ in us, living out of us (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).
I realized as a teenager that God had given me a gift of creativity with my words, and for most of my life I wasn’t using my words for Him. Unbeknownst to me, because I didn’t know Jesus deeply, I was using my words for the devil’s benefit. I had tons of self-made excuses as to why I said the things I said, and I had many people and situations to blame for why my mouth was out of control. God wanted to change that.
Simple: By me getting to know Jesus, personally, daily.
If you’re ever going to learn how to control your mouth, you have to allow Jesus to live through you, it’s the only way. If you try to pull this off any other way, you will be putting too much pressure on yourself. And the only way you can let Jesus live through you without effort, is you have to understand Jesus’ personality and how He spoke. You can’t just guess or fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to knowing your Creator’s nature, temperament, and disposition. Your deep relationship with Jesus Christ–actually having a “meeting of the minds” with Him–knowing Him on an intimate level, has to be purposeful.
His Holy Spirit in your body reshapes this part of you–the customizable part, your soul–as you get to know Him and start to show Him that you love Him. Spiritually, He educates you on how to use your words for love, not for hate; for healing, not retaliation; for peacemaking, not for trouble-making. Christ in you teaches you self-control…SELF…control, in all things, this includes your words.
So today, my friends, don’t be like I used to be, don’t take so long to get to know Jesus. If you want your life to get better, begin to allow Him to teach you to be conscious of what comes out of your mouth, at all times. Sure, at first it will be like trying to cage a wild animal, but as time goes on, Christ’s love in you will tame it! Give it time! Give it His truth! Eventually you’ll see that God gave you your mouth for a wonderful purpose, which is to help change the world for the better–for Jesus! Begin today!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you for helping me get my words under control. You and I both know how OUT of control my words were. Wow, when I think about how I used to speak on a regular basis, all I can do is say THANK YOU. Thank you for protecting me, correcting me, seeing Christ in me, AND my potential at that time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your mercy and grace. Please keep helping me, as I’ve not yet made it to completion. I need you. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who feel as if they are under the control of their mouths, rather than the other way around, HELP THEM. In the name of Jesus, I ask that you begin to draw them near to your Word, and all things Jesus. Help them to understand your unconditional love for them, and others–despite their mouths. Bring new people into their lives who will help them achieve this task, and REMOVE the people who contribute to the opposite. And for the people and situations that you allow to stay–in order to mold them–give them your grace on deep levels to grow in your love, patience, and self-control. Help them to begin to exude ALL THINGS JESUS, who is in them, each and every time they open up their mouths, or type out words. Give them the extra grace they need WHEN it’s needed! They can do this! Christ inside them will STRENGTHEN THEM! Amen.
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