Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths. (Eph. 4:29)

WHILE I WAS GROWING UP, I heard the saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.” I knew this phrase was not true. Words do hurt and harm. Words were used to tell me that I was not good looking, not bright, and not very talented. Though I had no visible wounds to show, my heart was cut deeply every time I was put down by members of my family. To retaliate, because I wanted them to hurt as much as they were hurting me, I began to use words to inflict pain on them. In anger, I would cuss, belittle, or say unkind things to them.

Years later at a small holiness camp, I heard the preacher speak about Christians having a “new tongue.” These two words kept running through my mind throughout the course of the week. By the last service of the camp meeting, I knew God wanted me to surrender my tongue to him. When the invitation was given, I walked to the front of the tabernacle, knelt down at the altar, and told God I wanted my tongue to be used in a way that would be glorifying to him. At that moment I felt God had filled not only my heart but also my tongue with his Spirit.

Ask God for a tongue that is pleasing to him.

Jim “Umf” Lo is a professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, cross-cultural leader, intercessor, and author of several books including Unholiness: Overcoming the Forces That Attack Your Soul (WPH).

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.