Keep Thy Tongue

By Don Willis

“Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it” (Psa. 34:11-14). Peter quoted this Psalm,”. . For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile” (1 Pet. 3:10-11). The footnote on “refrain” reads “control.” Mr. Vine said the Greek word pauo means to stop!

An uncontrolled tongue is an evil, and will bring hostile results to the speaker. Gossip is defined as “a person who chatters and repeats idle talk and rumors about others” (Webster). Looking at the etymology of gossip, one finds a religious background in it (gossip). My point: gossip comes from the same root as gospel (godspel), which meant “telling the good story.” Gossip is using one’s tongue, instead of telling the good story, to chatter worthless and often hurtful rumors of no benefit.

A Christian must wisely use his time and his tongue to the glory of God! Personal evangelism involves this proper use of the tongue.

“One day a woman came to the preacher and confessed, ‘I have gossiped about my neighbor. One day I saw her stagger about the yard, so I told a few friends that she had been drunk. Now I find that her staggering was caused by a leg injury. How may I undo this gossip I started?’

“The minister excused himself for a moment, returned with a pillow, and asked the woman to follow him to the side porch. There he took out his pocket knife, cut a big hole in the pillow, and emptied the feathers over the porch rading. A small breeze soon scattered tiny feathers all about the yard, among the shrubs, flowers, even up in the trees. A few floated across the street, heading for unknown destinations.

“The minister turned to the woman. ‘Will you go out now and gather up every one of the feathers?’

“The woman looked stunned. ‘Why, that would be impossible.’

I “Exactly,’ replied the preacher sorrowfully. ‘So it is with your gossip.'”

This amply illustrates why the Lord told one to keep the tongue. Evil attracts much more attention than good! Satan delights when God’s children utilize themselves in Satan’s works.

I was just thinking, since we are going to use our tongues for some purpose, wouldn’t it be much better to gospel than to gossip? Think about it. Gospeling brings delight to God, peace to self and our fellow man.

Guardian of Truth XXXI: 6, p. 174
March 19, 1987