i was talking with some people today about slow pitch softball and how much I used to enjoy playing when I was younger, and how good our JBC team was. Then the conversation moved a bit and we started talking for some reason about Christians who yelled at the umpire, yelled and got angry at the players on the other team and even at the players on their own team. As Christians we are supposed to attract people to our faith by our behavior, and the most powerful area of our example is how we talk to other people, and sadly it is also the most powerful tool of the devil to bring dishonor to the name of Jesus and the gospel. With our mouth we both tear down and build up people. The Bible talks about mature people and immature, calling them infants and babies in character. Nothing is a clearer indicator of our level of maturity than how we talk to others. It takes great self-control to always speak words that give grace, that are kind, that encourage, and honor others so that they feel good about themselves because of our words that were carefully chosen. Self-control is the result of godly character. In raising our kid’s we had clear goals and objectives, and a major one was that they would always talk nice to others. It was easy to know how we were doing, all we had to do was listen to them talk to each other. In our world and culture today getting angry, telling people off, slandering, gossiping, rudeness, and dishonoring people is the norm. As I examine my life for sin each evening before going to sleep, and confessing them to the Lord, it seems most of my sins are committed with my mouth. I desperately want to grow in this area because each weekend I speak, teach and preach the Word of God to people so they can grow close to God and grow in character. The Bible says that a spring of water doesn’t have both fresh and salty water coming out of it so how can I expect to speak God’s Word and out of the same mouth speak slander. So I will press on to grow in self control so that every word that I speak out of my mouth would be as it were the very utterances of God.