#1. Get a new heart

You’ve got to get a new heart, that’s the problem. Ezekiel 18:31 says, “Rid yourself of all the offenses you have committed and get a new heart and a new spirit!” Painting the outside of the pump doesn’t make any difference if there is poison in the well.  I can change the outside, I can turn over a new leaf, but what I really need is a new life.  What I need is a fresh start. I need to let go of all the past and be born again and start over.  I need to get a new heart.

How do I get a new heart? 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new person. The old has passed away. Behold all things have become new.”  New life, new heart, new spirit.  When you come to Jesus Christ, He wipes out everything you’ve done in the past.  He says You’re starting over.  It’s like being born again.  You need a new heart. We need to pray like David prayed in Psalm 51 –  “Create in me a clean heart, O God” because what’s in my heart is going to come out in my mouth.

#2. Ask God for help every day.

You need supernatural power to control your tongue. You can’t do it on your own.  Your life is a living proof of that.  We cannot control it on our own.  We need supernatural power so we ask God to help us.  Psalm 141:3 says, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” That’s a great verse to memorize and quote every morning. I share this verse with my family before we head out on a vacation together or before we spend the holidays together. “God, put a muzzle on my mouth.  Guard my lips.  Don’t let me be critical today.  Don’t let me be judgmental.  Don’t let me say things off the cuff that I then regret.”  You need to ask God for help daily because you need His power in your life.

Sidlow Baxter: “The proof that God’s Spirit is in your life is not that you speak in an unknown tongue but you control the tongue you do know.”  You watch your words, and God gives you the power to not slander, not lie, not exaggerate.

Getting into God’s word is a part of asking God for help. As you ask Him for help you need to read His word.  It’s the principle of G.I.G.O. = Garbage in, garbage out.  What goes into your mind, goes into your heart, and what goes into your heart, comes out of your mouth.  Fill your mind with the word of God — with positive things, whatsoever things that are true, etc. — think on these things.

#3. Think before you speak

Engage your mind before you put your mouth in gear. James 1:19 says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  There’s a designation here.  They go in order. First be quick to listen and then slow to speak.  If you’re quick to listen you will be slow to speak.  If you’re slow to speak, then you will be slow to become angry.  If you have a problem with anger you need to work on being quick to listen and slow to speak.  The result will be you’ll be slow to anger.

What does your tongue say about you? What does it reveal about you?  If we were to play back a tape of every conversation you’ve had in this past week, what would we learn about you?  God hears it all.  Our tongues display who we are.  What direction is your tongue leading you?  Some people say, “I’m just sick all the time” or “I can never do anything”, “Things are just getting tougher and tougher” — what direction are they headed?  Our tongues control the direction of our lives like a rudder, a bit.

A bit and a rudder must be under the hand of a strong arm. James is saying that the only way to get control of your tongue is let Jesus Christ have control of your heart.  What’s in your heart is going to come out in your mouth.  You let Christ’s hand be on your bit, your rudder and let Him direct your life.


Maybe you need to ask forgiveness. Maybe you need to go to your kids to say, “I’m sorry.  I’m inconsistent the way I talk to you. Sometimes I’m loving, sometimes I’m harsh.  That shows I’m like everybody else.  I’m human.”  We all stumble in many ways — all of us.  Maybe you need to apologize to your wife or your husband. “I’m not as loving to you in my speech as I ought to be.  I tend to be apathetic, cold, indifferent.  I talk to you harshly.  I boss everybody around.  I’m inconsistent and inconsiderate.” Ezekiel says, “Get rid of all your offenses you’ve committed and get a new heart and a new spirit.”

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