Carol Cato spiritual writer

Staff Writer – Carol Cato

How to grow spiritually (V) Controlling the Tongue: James 3:1-12

The Bible is the most published book, millions of people own a bible, but how many actually read it?  We carry the Bible to church and find the scripture when the Pastor asks us to.

Occasionally, we might open the Bible to search out a particular scripture, but have you really studied your BibleThe Bible is a manual of everything you need to know about life and about living righteously.

I was going to write the blog on “How to grow spiritually by Controlling the Tongue” but after reading and studying I realised I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel as it is all here in the scripture.

So I’ll share what the Bible says about controlling the tongue, it may not be in the order it is written in the Bible, because I have added thoughts of my own.

How good are you at holding your tongue? Do you think before you speak or do you speak before you think?  The Scripture says in Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

As a believer, this is one of our greatest challenges in life. James 3:6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  James 4:11Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.”

How many times have you uttered hurtful words, and as soon as it leaves your mouth you regret that you said it?  In that moment you could have caused that person to experience low self-esteem, broken their spirit, lied, shamed and humiliated them – why? Most of the time it’s to make ourselves feel big, while making the other person feel small.

Matthew: 15:19But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies”  To be truly spiritually grown you must renew your heart, which in turn renews your thinking and your actions.

Angry couple. Photo courtesy

Angry couple. Photo courtesy


It takes time to unlearn all that we have taught ourselves over the years, and God understands this. When you start being mindful of what you say, you will begin to notice the changes, it’s not easy and it will take time.  I am still learning and everything I write about is helping me to grow.

Practically things to do to hold your tongue

  1. In tense situations, pray before you speak, and you may find that your calm spirit returns
  2. 2.       If you have to say something, speak in a soft tone.  Proverbs 15:1” A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.”
  3. Have compassion – Ephesians 4:32  “And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tender hearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you
  4. Try the mirror technique, to calm the argument down – ask the person to repeat what you have said.  Get them to repeat what you said word for word.  Usually you will find that people hear what they want to hear.  You also have to allow the person to do this back to you.  You will say “you said that……”
  5. 5.       Psalms 141:3 sums it up – “Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.”  See How to grow spiritually (III)