The function of the mouth as the organ of speech is emphasized in the Bible.

The Bible says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless” (Jas 1:26). “The tongue corrupts the whole person…No one can control the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. One minute it is praising God, the next cursing man” (Jas 3:2-12). “It is not what goes into the mouth which makes a person unclean, rather the words that gush forth that makes them unclean” (Mt 15:11).

As our tongues get us into much conflict, endeavour to stop and think before speaking, especially in reaction to hurtful words spoken to us. Hastily uttered words of frustration and criticism can cause irreversible damage, for once they have left our lips they can’t be recalled. Although we later regret and say 'sorry' the unkind and ungodly things we say, they can wound another’s spirit, especially those of

Would I like what I say to others said to me?

children. Jesus said, we will give account for every careless word spoken (Mt 12:36,37). We need to join with the Psalmist who said, “I’ve purposed my mouth will not transgress” (Ps 17:3).

See also: accountability, reaction, sorry, speech, tongue, words.