God created us with a tongue and this tongue can and should be used as God intended. However, all of us are unable to tame this unruly evil which is full of deadly poison (Jam 3:8). God intended us to use our tongue for the good and not for the bad. If only this were true the world would be such a peaceful place.
God has repeatedly warned us about the improper use of our tongue. Cursing, lying, backbiting, gossip, murmuring, vain questioning, and meddling in other’s affairs are all mentioned as sins that can be committed with the tongue (Rom. 1:29-30 ff; 1 Tim. 5:13; 2 Tim. 2:16,23; Eph. 4:25; 5:4; 1 Thess. 4:11).
Any sin in the sight of God is heinous and capable of causing us to lose our eternal reward, yet sometimes we fail to bridle our tongue (1 Jn. 1:7-9). Often we speak before we think and once evil words have been spoken they are impossible to be retracted.
Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt 12:36,37). Man was not created to remain silent. If that were true the gospel would not be preached, spiritual songs would go unsung, and prayers unheard (2 Tim 4:2-5 ff; Eph 5:19; 1 Tim 2:8). Thus, it is incumbent for each of us to speak where the bible speaks and remain silent where the bible is silent (1 Pet 4:11). If we add to or subtract from God’s word, we shall be held accountable come the day of judgment (Rev 22:18,19).
There are times when we are commanded to remain silent. We all can’t speak at the same time in the church. For decency and order, one speaks while the rest remain silent. This was the case of prophesying and speaking in tongues in the church (1 Cor 14:23-31). Women were commanded by Jesus Christ (v.37) to remain silent in the churches (1 Cor 14:33-40). This simply means that women are forbidden to hold speaking roles in the assembly. Thus, men should preach, teach, lead prayer, lead singing, and all speaking roles in the church.
When the tongue is used in accordance to God’s Word it can be a marvelous thing. However, when we use the same tongue we praise God with to say evil things, this is not pleasing unto God. “With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (Jam 3:9-11).
Let us not use our tongues to the evil but to the furtherance of the gospel. If we cannot do this, it is better that we remain silent that the word of God be not blasphemed. Solomon said a wise man speaks few words. “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Prov 17:27-28). Therefore, let each of us use our tongues in accordance to God’s Word in all things.