I tell you on the Day of Judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37 (NKJV)
A few years ago I began to think about what I would sacrifice during the Lenten season. Lent, the forty-day period from Ash Wednesday to Resurrection Sunday, is a time set aside for soul searching and repentance.
In the past I refrained from eating particular foods, but I felt the need to go deeper. I wanted to give up something important to me, something that caused problems: my BIG MOUTH. I decided to go on a “tongue fast,” an annual commitment to abstain from using my tongue to communicate negatively. It has been a life-changing experience.
To help with fasting, I search the scriptures. Certain passages leap out to give me perspective. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 encourages studying to be quiet and minding my own business. James 3:8 explains that no man can tame the tongue because it is evil, full of poison. Proverbs 18:21 says life and death are in the power of the tongue.
During the tongue fast, in addition to prayer and scriptures I continually monitor my progress. Questions help. Did I engage in any form of lying? Was I argumentative? Did I talk too much? Did I retaliate? Did I boast, or speak with pride? Did I gossip?
This will be my fourth year of tongue fasting. I anticipate the benefits, which include the increase of patience, wisdom, and love.
Silence is golden.
Father, I repent for misusing my tongue in ways that do not glorify you. Please teach me your ways so I can become quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
© 2013 Wanda Currie