Filter the Tongue

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This morning I was pouring the last cup of coffee and noticed a lot of grounds in the bottom of the coffee pot. When I opened up the coffee maker basket, the filter had pulled away from the side of the basket and there were grounds all along the side and on the bottom. The filter was there but it did no good if it did not cover the entire basket. Earlier this month during my pastor’s sermon, I realized that I have a filter that I am not using and it is causing “grounds” to get into places I don’t want. Pastor Steve’s message was from James and the point was how to tame the tongue. At the end he listed seven taming practices that I have started using to filter both what I say but also what I post:

1. Be slow to speak. (James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry...)

2. Do not make empty promises. (James 2:16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?)

3. Do not curse. (James 3:10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.)

4. Do not criticize. (James 4:11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.)

5. Do not boast about future plans. (James 4:13-15 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”)

6. Say what you mean and mean what you say. (James 5:12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.)

7. Admit your faults. (James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.)

I am not going to say that I will always do this (see #2 above) but I am going to make it my goal to strive to apply this filter a bit more and tame my tongue.