When talking about spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), I’ve come a long way in many of these areas—love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. All, except for one: Self-control. Yes I eat too much at times and spend too much money. But that’s not the area of self- control I struggle with the most.
I struggle with my tongue.
I get myself into trouble when I don’t exhibit restraint, especially during conflict. I get mad when I feel someone is attacking my character, causing me to lash out and win the argument. I also find myself puffing my chest up when I post pictures of my or my family’s accomplishments on social media. If no one else is going to brag, then I should, right?
But the deeper issue when I do that is not my mouth.
It’s my soul.
When I boast with my tongue, I am giving a voice to the sin that eats away at my soul. When I lack self-control in my speech, I resist the notion that my sufficiency and worth comes from God, not from me.
That’s not how a Christian should be.
Like the above Scripture suggests, horse trainers place a “bit” in the mouth of a horse to keep it from bucking out of control. If the trainer can control the horse’s mouth, the whole body follows. In the same way, if I can exercise restraint and bite my tongue in times of conflict, resisting the urge to be right, my soul will follow.
In what ways do you need to exhibit self-control with your tongue?