One of the signs to look out for in a new person in Christ is the way he talks. How you use your mouth is an indication of the kind of person you are. For the believer in Christ, he is a new creature according to 2 Corinthians 5:17. It is also important for me to explain the nature of man with respect to salvation. Let’s not forget that we are spirit beings, with a soul and living in a body. Matthew 10:28 talks about the soul and the body while Hebrews 4:12 also talks about the soul and the body. But in 1 Thessalonians, the complete picture is painted.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thesallonians 5:23).
Your spirit being Is your real you; your soul comprises of your mind, will and emotions and your body is the physical parts we can feel and touch.
At the new birth, when you gave your life to Jesus, it was your spirit that was saved. The life of God, zoe, transformed your spirit man and it became a brand new spirit. The sin nature in your spirit man was blotted out completely, but the sin nature in our souls and in our bodies was not blotted out. This explains why we still get tempted and sometimes fall into sin. 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. Apostle John is referring to the sins we sometimes commit as a result of the sin nature in our soul and bodies. This also explains why in Romans 12:1-2, the bible mentions that we should renew our mind (a part of our soul) with the word of God, and we should offer our bodies as living sacrifices. In other words, we must continue to study and do the word to get the sin nature progressively removed from our soul and we must also continue to crucify the flesh through prayer, fasting and other spiritual activities to get the s
It is the sin nature in our soul and bodies that make the tongue of a saved believer to say bad things. I am talking about people who are genuinely saved. In other words, if you are not saved at all, your spirit and soul and body are in the same dead state—and your case is worse. The question now is, why do genuine believers find it hard to work on their soul and bodies? If you refuse to study and do the word, the sin nature in your soul will never be removed. And if you refuse to crucify your body, the sin nature in your body will never be removed. Consequently, your tongue will reflect the state of your soul and you will never be able to use your mouth in gracious manners.
“Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).
To develop a spirit controlled tongue, the believer must ensure that the soul and the body are under the control of the spirit. In other words, your mind, will and emotions must be subjected to continuous study of God’s word. Hear what James 1:21 says, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls”. And also, your body must never be allowed to have her way. You must die daily. Paul said, “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).
The question now is, what are the typical things we do that make our souls and bodies to be above our spirit. Don’t forget, we want our spirit to be above our souls and bodies. We want our spirit to control our soul and bodies. If this is not the case and our bodies and souls are controlling our spirit, this is exactly what we will experience.
1. Such a believer will have no restraint for sin. He will watch porno; go to clubs; listen to bad music and still claim to be a Christian.
2. Such a believer will be given over to relentless pleasure at all times—and will never be willing or able to go through any challenges of life.
3. Such a believer will have no regard or respect for biblical principles. Rather, he will be controlled by culture and public opinion.
The end result is that this believer will be very carnal and his tongue will have no restraint whatsoeverTo develop a spirit controlled tongue, two things must be our focus—transform our mind by the word and crucify our bodies through prayers.
You can’t be a prayerful person and a careless talker at the same time. Prayer tames the tongue. I am not talking about religious praying here. No man slanders whom he prays for at the same time. An effective prayer life will produce an effective speaking life.
Prayer cultures and tames the tongue. Why? Prayer produces so much power that the sin nature in your physical body that often produces carnal stimuli will be subdued by the power and life of God you generate through prayer. You can’t stand negative talking around you.
Also, the word purifies the soul. Your soul with her sin nature can’t survive the power and the life of God from His word. Listen to Hebrew 4:12.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”.
Look at what the word of God is—it is living, powerful, sharp, piercing, dividing and discerning. From this scripture, the word of God carries six dynamite of power. You can’t be a tireless student of the word—reading and meditating and doing it every day for ten years and these six dynamites of power won’t clear off the sin nature in your soul.
All the negative passions; sinful thoughts, lustful feelings, aggressive emotions and all others cannot survive the living, powerful, sharp, piercing, dividing and discerning power of the word. It is because of laziness among Christians that we’ve been unable to produce large population of believers whose tongues are controlled by the spirit. Rather their spirits are controlled by their tongues. In other words, their tongues dictate for their spirits. They say anything at anytime, curse, yell, insult, boast, slander and say all manners of evil things—and they don’t feel any remorse. It is because their tongue is the boss.
Your tongue must not be the boss. Your spirit man must be the boss. If you make your spirit the boss, your tongue will be under control—and you will experience this blessing: For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit (1 Peter 3:10).
Ayo Akerele, a leadership and system development strategist and minister of the word holds a doctorate degree in employee turnover and human capital development from the prestigious Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland. He is also a public speaker with twelve books to his credit. He is based in Canada and can be reached at: [email protected]