If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this mans religion is vain" (James 1:26).
Of all the possible New Years resolutions that need to be madeand keptby Gods people, control of ones tongue is surely one of the most needed, because the careless use of the tongue is one of the most common sins. Consider the following: (1) Gossiping: And withal they learn to be idle, . . . tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not (I Timothy 5:13); (2) Unclean speech: But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth (Colossians 3:8); (3) Lying: Wherefore putting away Lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor (Ephesians 4:25); (4) Grumbling: Do all things without murmurings and disputings (Philippians 2:14); (5) Arguing: And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient (II Timothy 2:24); (6) Speech containing unnecessary expletives: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; . . . But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Matthew 5:34,37); (7) Empty chatter: But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36); (8) Verbosity: Study to be quiet, and to do your own business (I Thessalonians 4:11); and (9) Worldly humor: Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient (Ephesians 5:4).
But who is sufficient for these things? James says: If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body (3:2). That is all the more reason why we, by Gods grace, should diligently try to bridle our tongues, for to the extent that we succeed, to even greater extent can we control the rest. HMM