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Freedom of Speech

Weekly Devotionals

Freedom of Speech

James 3:9:   Fun with my tongue or godliness?

One of the most difficult things to give up for me as a Christian is my freedom of speech.  I love being able to say whatever I want whenever I want.  I watch different television personalities and see the way they use speech to be provocative, entertaining, and humorous and it makes me jealous.  I want to be able to do that.  I love talking trash on the basketball court, making fun of people, and pointing out aesthetic imperfections.  I love having fun with my tongue at the expense of others for a laugh.  My motto is, “don’t take yourself so seriously.”  You might see me thinking and wanting to say, “You are ugly, you might as well know it.”  Or,  “You got a head the size of a watermelon, how do you carry that around?“  The only problem with this is that Scripture tells us in James 3:9, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”  Earlier in the letter it says, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight reign on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”  Sigh.  This has been an ongoing battle between myself and God as I’ve grappled with the things I WANT TO SAY, vs. the things GOD WANTS ME TO SAY.  I know we have freedom in Christ, but it’s freedom to live as Christ lived, free from our sinful nature and even that desire to captivate or be provocative with what we say and express ourselves.  I’m still learning how to have fun with my tongue WHILE being godly.  It’s been one of the most dying to self, intense, and challenging things in my life, that is, to control my tongue and submit that to the Lord’s leading.  What has helped me is the realization that what I say basically reveals what is in my heart.  Basically what comes out of my mouth either comes from the fountain of God’s clean heart or poison murky water.  I’ve decided that godliness is still a better investment than my need to be provocative, funny, witty, or relevant to the world.  Still, I know God is trying to bridge those worlds together for me.  I hope one day I can be clean and godly enough that having fun with my tongue and godliness are totally both/and rather than either/or.  In the meantime, I will keep many of my thoughts to myself and remain silent for the love of God.  Lord help me!  May we all use our words for the building up of the body of Christ and for the Kingdom rather than for the world.  I will also be posting a song that has been helpful to me as I take up the cross daily in the area of speech.

With love.