Laurel Health Centers

Back to Basics – Taming the Tongue

Once you say something, you can't unsay it


by Mike White - March 17, 2016

A middle school teacher handed out to her students a number of products such as toothpaste and hair gel and asked them to squeeze them all out.

Once that messy task was complete she asked them to put the contents back into the containers. Of course they couldn’t.

The teacher then said “In the moment, you were so consumed with what you were doing that you didn’t realize the mess you were making. Then, after it was so quickly and easily poured out, you realized it was impossible to put it all back in. Remember this for the rest of your lives when it comes to words that come out of your mouth.”

Words slide so easily off the tongue- but the problem is you can never unsay anything you have already said.

If you were to damage a vehicle and you have the money you can get it repaired very quickly. But if you damage another person with your words it may take years to repair that relationship. In fact you may never be able to repair it.

Our words get us in trouble. This reminds me of a verse in proverbs.

Prov 10:19
When words are many, transgression is not lacking…

What does he mean by that? The more you speak the more you sin. We have a natural propensity to be selfish. We are born with a nature that is inclined towards sin and foolishness.

And the way that sinful nature is so often revealed is through our words.

One author said “the smallest and biggest trouble maker in the world is the tongue.”

I couldn’t help but think of the Irish featherweight UFC fighter Connor Macgregor. He had been doing a lot of “talking” and there is no question that he is talented but sometimes his arrogance gets the best of him. He has called himself the best pound for pound fighter on the planet and incessantly taunts his opponents prior to their fights.

But recently he was served a healthy dose of humility when, thinking he could fight 2 weight classes above where he normally fought, he was easily choked out by a bigger an stronger Nate Diaz in the second round. You could say he definitely ate his words.

Your words reveal who you really are. Your words are a window into your soul. They reveal what you value, what you think, how you live. By your words we can tell how intelligent you are, how wise or foolish you are, whether you are vulgar or refined. And it isn’t what you say but how you say it that reveals everything about you.

Its easy to sin with our speech. very easy. Everyone stumbles in many ways. We all sin. By nature we’re inherently selfish. Sometimes we sin unintentionally. Most of the time it is intentional. We all have a lot of experience with sin, especially when it involves our speech.

But you might say, “c’mon Mike. I don’t cuss or swear. I’ve gone to church my whole life. I can’t even remember the last time I swore.” But there are many ways to sin with your tongue. You might say something unflattering about another person behind their back. It’s gossip. It’s sin. That person is made in the image of God. Why would you say that about that person- other than to make yourself look better?

Your speech reveals the condition of your heart. And the only way to change inconsistent speech is to ask God to change your heart. It’s not to try harder at self control. It’s to give your heart to God, who supernaturally transforms your heart. In fact, he gives you a new heart.

No one in the history of mankind has ever had consistent speech…. except for one. His name is Jesus.

1 Peter 2:22-24
22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Jesus Christ – who never once sinned with his mouth – died on a cross so our gossip, and lies, and vulgarity could be forgiven. He bore the full wrath of God so our cursing and complaining could be forgiven. Maybe this morning God has revealed to you that you need forgiveness. You say, pastor, my speech is awful. I gossip, I complain, I dishonor God with my speech. God will forgive you of that sin. The bible says you if you confess with that same mouth Jesus as Lord and believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. So how do you change your speech? Ask God to change your heart.

If you’d like to talk, feel free to email me:


Writing: N/A


Produced by Vogt Media

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