The human tongue is the most dangerous weapon in the world. So small, yet so powerful. A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem insignificant, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it! A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech, we can ruin the world, turn harmony into chaos, throw mud on a reputation, and send the whole world up in smoke.
This is nothing new. It may seem like it’s worse than ever, however, it’s been true since the dawn of humankind. Social media and the Internet simply make it easier to reveal what’s on a person’s heart for many to witness. What comes out in someone’s speech reveals what’s really going on in their heart. Whatever is in their heart is going to spill out when they’re under stress and pressure.
When stressed, kind people become kinder, patient people become more patient, and caring people become more compassionate. When pressed, mean people become meaner, angry people become angrier, bitter people express more hatred, and opinionated people become more obnoxious. Therefore, the only way you can control what you say is to manage what’s going on in your heart.
So if that’s the diagnosis, what’s the prescription? How do you manage what’s going on in your heart? You need to learn to walk by the Spirit. When you walk by the Holy Spirit, your heart has a Mentor and your mind has a skilled Captain to control its rudder, i.e. its tongue. That’s the healthiest and best way to walk the talk, for yourself, for others, and for the common good.
What exactly does it mean to walk by the Spirit? It means that our daily habits, routines, and plans are rooted in a relationship with God. It refers to our daily awareness that God’s Spirit is walking by our side as our Helper, always with us, equipping us to live a life that honors Him and encourages others. It means we have access to the Holy Spirit at all times and that living a Spirit-filled life involves intentionally seeking God every day.
When we allow God’s Spirit to convict, challenge, and change us, He transforms the ways we think and act. That’s when we’re able to walk the (good) talk.