“For Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;”
–1 Peter 3:10
In this verse the author St. Peter is quoting Psalms.
“Who is the man who delights in life, who desires to see good days? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech.”
Saint Peter reminds us that with a life of restraint, we find a more pleasurable existence and happiness.
Deceitful speech and an evil tongue lead to a loss of the true life. It’s a product of selfishness. And ultimately, without restraint, it leads to sins against charity.
Words are powerful things. Bible words are the foundation of faith. Jesus is referred to as “the word” and “the word made flesh.” God brought everything in the universe into existence by speaking words, “Let there be…”
Words matter. Therefore, one of the greatest cautions we need to employ in life is to be very careful about the words we speak. Our words hold the power of creation as well. Our words can create hope or hate. Healing or hurt. Turning away from evil begins with controlling our words.
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
– James 1:26
Not only does St. James make the point that someone who claims to be religious but speaks evil is a hypocrite, but they are also deluding themselves.
St. James implies that such a person is useless. It’s the mark of selfishness and vanity.
To call one’s self religious but speak with an unbridled tongue is blasphemous.
Jesus said we are judged by the words we speak and will be redeemed or condemned on account of them:
“for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
– Matthew 12:37
Our words are a reflection of our hearts, mind, and true selves. Faith, works, and words are elements of character which demonstrate who a person truly is before God.
The Bible tells us the rank of importance these elements hold. Scripture also says it is by grace through faith rather than works that humans are justified before God.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Therefore, our words are our truest reflection of faith. This makes it all the more imperative that each and every one of us learns to control our words.