"God, cleanse my heart so my words will be sweet."
The tongue can be nasty. We use it to interrupt conversations, spew sarcasm, spread gossip, break promises, tell lies, complain, criticize, and more. Yuck. Simply writing that list makes me feel like I need a bar of soap for an old-fashioned mouth washing.
On the flipside, however, the tongue can do tremendous good. We use it to console, comfort, praise, pray, and sing. We use it to teach, mentor, encourage, and even confront evil when necessary.
How can we ensure we use our tongues for the latter list and not the former? Ultimately, how can we ensure we speak only words we don’t later regret? Here’s the key: Surrender completely to Jesus Christ.
The challenge to doing so lies in our hearts. Who sits on the throne? If we occupy that space, then we’re in trouble. Scripture says our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked. None of us like to admit it, but it’s true. From our hearts come “evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander” (Matthew 15:19). When we sit on the throne of our hearts, we mess up. We do and say things we later regret.
If Christ occupies the throne of our hearts, however, it’s a different story. Oswald Chambers writes this: “The only thing that truly provides protection is the redemption of Jesus Christ. If I will simply hand myself over to Him, I will never have to experience the terrible possibilities that lie within my heart. Purity is something far too deep for me to arrive at naturally. But when the Holy Spirit comes into me, He brings into the center of my personal life the very Spirit that was exhibited in the life of Jesus Christ, namely, the Holy Spirit, which is absolute unblemished purity” (My Utmost for His Highest, July 26).
Surrendering completely to Christ means we allow Him to reveal sin in our lives so we can repent and do life His way. It means we yield to Him our dreams, desires, and goals and allow Him to either affirm or change them. We live according to His principles, and we allow Him free access to every corner of our mind. Simply put, we allow Him to live His life in and through us.
Jesus says, “The words you speak come from the heart” (Matthew 15:18). Let’s ensure our tongues and the words they speak benefit others, share wisdom, bring hope, and aid healing. That happens when we yield ourselves completely to Jesus Christ and allow His Spirit to fill and control us.
Question for you: What might hinder us from complete surrender? And what can we do to change that?