Taming The Tongue
One area of concern for Christians is how they use their speech. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew, "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak" (chapter 12 verse 36). St. James says the following:
For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. (James 3: 7-9)
I wish I could brag about having mastered this important area of Christian behavior, but I am far from doing so. I have also noticed how easily we can fall into gossip and rumors when we don't have adequate information or are not interested in seeking the truth about a person or situation.
I am always on the lookout for down-to-earth practical resources to help us live a more authentic Christian life. Some years ago I found a very helpful resource from a lay woman by the name of Patti Gallagher Mansfield. She wrote a monthly Notebook Column each month for one of my favorite publications, New Covenant magazine. While the magazine is no longer in circulation, Patti's columns have been compiled into a book called More of God - Inspirational Selections from the Notebook Column. I had the privilege of meeting Patti several years ago when she was a guest speaker for one Western Washington Catholic Charismatic Renewal's annual conferences. She gave me permission to reprint the columns.
I hope you find this article helpful in the quest for a "well-trained tongue" (cf. Isaiah 50:6).