This book was written by Deborah Smith Pegues.
I know that this post is very long. However, I know some people do not click on to part two or three of posts. So I think it may be easier for you to just scroll down. I expect that this post will take you thirty days to complete, more or less. Just read a chapter (or passage) a day. Meditate on it. Then come back later so that you don’t get tired or get to much information at one time. This book was published in 2005. I gave this book the grade of A minus. I only had to correct a few mistakes or things I had to add for clarification. I love the way the author covered all the tongues. The author divides each chapter as a day for you to meditate on daily. Feel free to make any corrections or any other comments on the book down below. Please forgive any type-o’s, I’m trying to post this in a hurry, or make a few final changes in a hurry. I will come back later after this hurricane to find any type-o’s. Yah willing & Yah bless.
Prologue: Teachers often teach that which they need to learn themselves (or things that they have learned). I am no different. I am writing this book first and foremost for myself. I desire a wholesome (humble) tongue, one that always speaks what is pleasing to Yah. I have learned what James, the brother of Yahoshua, meant when he said, “No man can tame the tongue” (James 3:8). Nothing will prevail in conquering this unruly member. To “tame” means to bring from as state of unruliness to a state of submission. A person would have to live in total isolation to begin to accomplish such a feat with his tongue. Even then, his self-talk would probably be negative in some way and therefore rob him of total (win).
The only hope for the tongue is the Spirit of Yah. The tongue must be bridled and brought into subjection by Him on a daily basis. How do we begin the process? One of my spiritual mentors gave me a very simple tip for dealing with the negative propensities of the natural man or the “flesh.” He said, “Whatever the flesh tells you to do, do the opposite.” Well, that’s a good place to start. As you skimmed the list of the negative uses of the tongue in the table of contents, you may not have readily admitted that you are guilty of many of them. However, as you read this book with a desire to grow and to “own” behavior you may have been denying, you will experience the freedom that only comes with embracing the truth. “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32 KJV). In this book, I will challenge you to join me on a 30-day quest to become sensitive to the negative uses of the tongue and to “fast” or abstain from these verbal violations of righteous principles.
…I want to caution that this book is not about turning you into a Passive Patsy or a Timid Tom who avoids expressing personal boundaries, desires or displeasure with a situation. I have learned that most interpersonal problems will not be resolved without being confronted. However, there is a TIME and a WAY to say everything. We can rejoice knowing we are already empowered to use our tongues wisely.
The Most High hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season (Isaiah 50:4).
Words are the vehicle through which we communicate our thoughts; the tongue is the driver. As such, it takes us to our (path). Moving in spiritual maturity requires that we learn to speak the right words in the right season and for the right reason.
As the Set-apart Spirit sensitizes us to the negative uses of our tongue, we will begin to resist the temptation to drive down the wrong verbal path. If you find you are constantly at war with your tongue, I invite you to stop your harmful expressions. I guarantee you that at the end of this fast, you will become spiritually empowered as you transform your tongue into a wellspring of life.
Day One: The Lying Tongue: Yah detests lying lips but delights in men who are truthful. Proverbs 12:22
The author wrote that lying comes in four primary forms: a) deceitfulness. b) half-truths. c) exaggerations. d) flattery. In this chapter, the author looks at three types of lying and she discusses flattery in the next chapter.
The author gives an example of a time that she was deceitful to gain money. Then she quotes Kepha (Peter), “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.” (1 Kepha 3:1o). The author asked, why do people practice deception? She says many people do it for financial gain, for social advantage, to hide immoral acts or to obtain other “benefits”. However, we know that spiritual answer to that question…Yahoshua would say that they are like their father, the devil (ha shatan).
The author gives an example from the bible of deception: Jacob (Yahqob) whose name meant something like Yah supplants or tricks, “trickster” conspired with his mother (Ribqeyah) and deceived his father into giving him the birthright blessing that belonged to his brother Esau (Geneis 27). Esau discovered the deception and threatened to kill him. Jacob was forced to leave his home to live with his Uncle Laban. Jacob, reaped the seeds of his own deceit that he had sown. Laban tricked Jacob into marrying his daughter Leyah, whom Jacob did not love. Laban further deceived Jacob by changing the terms of his employment agreement numerous times. Jacob was forced to work 14 years to marry Rachyl, whom he did love. Eventually, because he abandoned his deceitful ways and became a tither, Yah blessed Jacob (even more) and changed his name to Ysrayl.
The author says, that by being deceitful, it is a slap in the face to Yah because then you have made a decision not to trust Him to handle the situation. We then proceed to make our own way by any means necessary…even being deceptive. In doing so, we forfeit the good life Yah had planned for us. The author made no mention of the first deception, where the devil tricks Eve (Hawayah).
The author gives an example here about telling all of the truth. I think this is also called a lie of omission, meaning they did not tell all.
The author explains that this person loves to be the center of attention. Yah has sealed the destiny of every liar: “All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death”. Revelation 21:8 (NKJV)
The psalmist (David, Dawid) knew the consequences of deceitfulness (eternal separation from Yah, second death) and constantly implored Yah to keep him out of this pit. Consider his plea. “Deliver my soul, O Yah, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue”. Psalm 120:2.
The author leaves this scripture at the end of the chapter:
“My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them are crooked or perverse.” Proverbs 8:7-8.
The author’s meditation: My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse (Proverbs 8:7-8)
Day Two: The Flattering Tongue: These people flatter others to get favors in return. Jude 1:6
This scripture reminded me of Isaiah 29:13 (Mattithyah 15:8), These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me…The author wrote, that flattery is a lie covered in a bed of flowery words. Most people who engage in this dishonest communication do so to gain favor. The desired favor is not always something material or tangible; it can be an intangible benefit, such as acceptance. The flatterer may have low self-worth and believe others will like him if he compliments them.
The author further explains that engaging in flattery is clear evidence of one’s lack of faith in Yah’s ability to give him favor with other people. Favor is a fringe benefit of being in right standing with our Creator. Next, the author quotes this scripture: For surely, O Yah, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield. Psalm 5:12
The author gives examples of people having favor in the bible: a) Yah gave Esther (Hadassah) favor and the king chose her to be the queen of Persia (Esther 2). b) He gave Daniyah favor with one of the king’s officers, who allowed him and his three friends to select their own diet rather than eat the (unclean) food of their captors (Daniel 1). c) Yah gave Yoseph favor in Egypt an he went from being a captive to commander of all the country’s resources (Geneis 39-41). These children of the Most High, says the author, never had to resort to any form of self-effort in order to ingratiate themselves for gain or survival.
The author asked questions: Can you think of a time that you flattered someone by giving him an insincere compliment? How did you feel afterward? Unless you have grown comfortable with such insincere behavior and have become insensitive to the (Set-apart) Spirit, flattering someone will most likely cause you to feel you have violated your personal integrity. The author wrote, if you are a flatterer, understand that when you are over-complimenting a person, the flower of your words will soon wilt and lose all impact. This reminded me of what Yah says all time, that what’s really on heart will soon (eventually) come out through your mouth. The author continues: Notwithstanding, if the person you chose to flatter is plagued with insecurity or has received little affirmation during her life, she will welcome any kind of attention that will bolster her low self-worth. There are periods in all of our lives when we may find ourselves vulnerable to flattery. These times can occur when we feel overlooked, unappreciated, unattractive or a host of other negative emotions that satan brings. The gives an example of when a group flattered her to get her into their group.
The author points out that some people use flattery as a survival tactic. She gave Steven Spielberg as an example. When Steven was a teenager, he told a bully that he looked like John Wayne. Steven further told the bully that he wanted him to play the hero in a 8mm movie that he was thinking of making about World War II. The author wrote, once Steven outfitted him and cast him as a heroic squad leader, the bully was putty in his hands. Unlike Spielberg’s bully, emotionally healthy people only appreciate sincere praise they earn for a specific distinction. Many (people) can detect a compliment given to gain their favor as well as words spoken with ulterior motives. The paradox is that they will tend to look with disfavor, rather than favor, on someone who compliments them in general for no apparent reason.
The author ends this chapter with the following scriptures: She says scripture is very clear on Yah’s plans for the flatterer: The Most High shall cut off all flattering lips…Psalm 12:3 KJV. She asks, is flattery worth being cut off from the blessings of Yah? This scripture is left at the bottom of the page: I will show partiality to no one nor will I flatter any man; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away. Job 32:21-22
The author’s meditation: I will show partiality to no one nor will I flatter any man; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away (Iyob 32:21-22)
Day Three: The Manipulating Tongue: Then Delilah pouted, how can you say you love me when you don’t confide in me? You’ve made fun of me three times now and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong! Judges 16:15 NLT
The author wrote that Samson (Shimshon) was Yah’s chosen man but he had a penchant (taste) for unrighteous women. (Me: Did y’all know that Shimshon visited (lay with) a prostitute in Judges 16:1? Yet, Yah had plans for Shimshon). He was destined from birth to play a vital role in liberating the Israylites from the rule of the Philistines. Yah endowed him with supernatural physical strength and cautioned his parents that he was never to cut his hair, the secret to his strength. Samson engaged in many exploits that displayed his awesome muscle power; his enemies did not stand a chance against him.
Then he fell in love with a greedy, conniving Philistine woman named Delilah. After many attempts using the age-old, guilt-inducing ‘if you love, you would…’ argument, she manipulated Shimshon into telling her the secret to his great strength. Then, for financial gain, she betrayed his trust and revealed the mystery to his enemies. They promptly shaved his head and he became as weak as any other man. Having subdued him, they gouged out his eyes, bound him with chains and forced him to grind in the prison. One day during an event in which the Philistines were making sport of him, he stood between two temple pillars, prayed for one last infusion of supernatural strength and literally brought the house down (see Judges 16).
Part of me wondered here, do you remember what Yahoshua said about the different body parts…if they cause you to sin…pluck them out, the eyes or cut them off, the hands, so on and so forth. So I wondered if Yah allowed his eyes to be gauged because of the sight or love of these unrighteous women?
The author continued: The collapsing structure killed him and more than 3,000 spectators and government officials. This was the tragic end of a strong man who was weakened by a manipulative woman. Manipulation can destroy not only a relationship but also a person’s life. Today, many men suffer from what I call “Delilah-phobia,” the fear of disclosing their vulnerabilities…..It is critical that neither man nor woman should ever mention in a manipulative or retaliatory way their entrusted knowledge of the personal fears and weaknesses of another.
Manipulation is a crafty use of the tongue and a self-perpetuating vice. Once manipulators find that their craftiness helps them to achieve their objectives, they become proud of their “smooth operating” skills. They will use all kinds of indirect tactics ranging from “guilt trips” to portraying themselves as innocent, suffering victims of various circumstances. They may even start to enjoy their ability to influence others in such a manner. Why, I have heard men boast, “I can get a woman to anything!”
While manipulators are subtle and make every attempt to cloak their self-serving motives, they often forget that many people are very discerning and have a keen sensitivity to such insincerity. Further, manipulators lose all credibility once people become aware of their propensity to engage in such behavior. People will suspect that they always have ulterior motives and will avoid them like the plague.
The author continues with another example: Some people are bold enough to confront manipulators and to call their motives into question. Yahoshua did so when His enemies sent spies to Him posing as sincere righteous people. The spies were to manipulate Him into speaking against the Roman government. They attempted to flatter Him by complimenting His integrity and His impartiality. Then they asked the question they thought would surely be self-incriminating and land Him in jail: “Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not”? But He perceived (discerned) their craftiness and said to them, “Why do you test Me?” (Luke 20:22-23 NKJV). He proceeded to explain that they should give to Caesar, the Roman emperor, whatever belonged to him and to give to Yah what was due to Him. He refused to be a victim of their manipulation. Further, we never read of Yahoshua manipulating anybody. He always offered everyone a better way of life but (moved on) if they decided to pursue another option even when it was not in their best interest (Me: we know that Yah gives us a choice, life or death).
Author’s meditation: Because I am in right standing with Yah, He surrounds me with favor. Therefore, I have no need to manipulate anyone for personal gain or advantage.
Day Four: The Hasty Tongue: Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 29:20 NKJV
The author begun by saying: Do you sometimes offend others because you do not engage your brain before shifting your tongue into drive? Have you ever made a commitment to Yah or man without giving it much consideration and later reneged on it? The communication of the hasty tongue is done too quickly to be thoughtful or wise.
Offending in Haste
According to the author, no matter how righteous we are, we will eventually offend somebody because of hasty speech. “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man and able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3:2 KJV). Because we can never be totally aware of all of the sensitivities of others, we must depend upon the (Set-apart) Spirit to direct our speech in a way that does not tap into their pain, distress or other negative experiences. I have seen people innocently offend others in an attempt to interject humor into a situation. We must realize that everyone has a different sensitivity level depending upon his experiences. I try to practice not being easily offended and often give others the benefit of the doubt when they make a hasty remark I might otherwise find offensive.
Responding in Haste
The bible cautions, “He who answers before listening…that is his folly and his shame” (Proverbs 18:13). The author gives an example here of one of her employees who always answered her hastily. She said his actions caused her to view him the very way he was trying so hard to avoid.
Committing in Haste
Yah does not want us to be flaky. He expects us to keep our promises. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon warns us against making a hasty, ill-considered vow to Yah. “Do not be rash with your mouth and let not your heart utter anything hastily before Yah” Ecclesiastes 5:2 NKJV. He goes on to explain that we should not try to wiggle out of our commitment by saying that it was a mistake.
Yaphthah (Jephthah) learned a lesson on the folly of a hasty vow the hard way (Judges 11:30-40). When he led the Israylites to war against the Ammonites, he vowed that if Yah gave him the victory, he would sacrifice to the Most High the first thing (person) that came out of his house upon his return. Little did he know that it would be his only daughter. Scripture is not clear, says the author, as to whether he sacrificed her on an altar of fire, contrary to Yah’s laws or whether she was doomed to be a virgin the rest of her life. However, he fulfilled his vow, his daughter was negatively impacted because of his hasty commitment.
Next, the author quotes this scripture: “Wherefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19 KJV). The author asks a question: Have you ever wondered why Yah gave us two ears and one mouth? Perhaps we are to spend twice as much time listening than talking. A good pause would serve us well in the long run. Time and words are two things that, once gone, can never be recovered. We must take time to weigh our words before we release them, says the author.
Author’s meditation: I am swift to hear and slow to speak. The Most High has set a guard over my mouth and He keeps watch over the door of my lips.
Day Five: The Divisive Tongue: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of Yah. Mattithyah 5:9 KJV
The author begins: Divide and conquer is one of satan’s most effective strategies for hindering the effectiveness of any effort undertaken by two or more people. He knows the power, synergy and blessings that result when we work in harmony. Therefore, he makes every effort to bring division.
The author next gives an example of a cousin of hers that caused dissension and division. The author wrote, the sixth chapter of Proverbs lists seven things that the Most High detests, among them is “a man who stirs up dissension among brothers” (v. 19). In Ephesians 4:3, Shaul (Paul) urges believers to keep the “unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” The author wrote that Shaul knew that keeping peace required tremendous effort. We cannot afford to be ignorant of satan’s tactics to keep us at odds. He will cause us to become offended over a harmless statement, to read more meaning into a comment than the speaker intended, to ascribe impure motives to someone’s behavior, or to believe a lie. Oh, that we would practice being more discerning! The (Set-apart) Spirit will surely reveal the truth of a situation. He is our peace and when we embrace Him, He directs us into peaceful resolutions of our issues. In fact, our conflicts can become stepping-stones to stronger relationships when we make a commitment to understand each other and to refrain from divisiveness.
Have you used your tongue to sow discord? asked the author. Know that anytime you tell another person something negative that someone else has said about him, your action will probably cause division. This is not to say you should avoid warning a person about another who is not acting in his best interests. However, you must be honest about your underlying motive. You may be trying to gain that person’s favor by appearing loyal enough to expose the bad guy or you may be indirectly communication your own feelings about the person at the expense of another. Whatever your rationale, the result is still the same…a relationship will be damaged and Yah will be displeased. As you recall the last time you used your tongue as a tool of divisiveness, consider what excuse you used for doing so. Are you ready to repent for this sin? Asked the author.
Not only are we to refrain from causing division, we must also become active agents of peace, using our best efforts to reconcile parties in conflict.
Author’s tongue: I will make every tongue to speak words that engender peace and to refrain from any communication that creates disunity (among brothers).
Day six: The Argumentative Tongue: Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; Only fools insist on quarreling. Proverbs 20:3 NLT
The authors begins by saying: Unlike divisive people, whose actions destroy unity between parties, argumentative people enjoy directly resisting anyone whose viewpoint is different from theirs. In fact says the author, they seem to stay on high alert for anything they can discuss that will get someone else on the defensive. Never without fodder for a verbal fight, they can always depend upon any discussion of (the bible) or politics to produce unending quarrels.
Being argumentative is a futile use of the tongue and certainly not the way to win friends or influence people, according to the author. Next the author quotes Will Rogers: People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument.” In order words the author states, contentiousness negates one’s ability to bring about change. The author believes that people become quarrelers because they grew up in contentious family environments. Paraphrased: the author believes that quarrels emulate the behavior that he or she witnessed as a child.
Another reason some people resort to quarreling is to bolster their own self-worth, the author says. They can only feel good about themselves by attacking the validity of other people’s opinions, philosophies or beliefs and then maneuvering them into defending their position. The quarreler’s goal is not to add value to someone’s life by showing him the error of his way. In fact, Mrs. Quarreler would be greatly disappointed if her target responded, “Oh, thank you for shedding light on this matter. I will change my thinking immediately”. Why, such a concession would end the argument! Says the author. (Me: I don’t know about that. I usually say nothing and sometimes will even walk off, which really ticks them off. But I do get what she is saying, the quarreler wants to be right and also wants to have the last word).
Next the author quotes Solomon’s advice: “Beginning a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out” Proverbs 7:14 NLT). She also quotes Yahoshua, to “agree with (or get on good terms with) your adversary quickly” Mattithyah 5:25. (Me: This scripture is talking to the person causing the problem).
The author continues: Most people, except fellow quarrelers, will minimize or avoid discussion with a person who is argumentative. They find it too stressful to walk on eggshells trying to limit their conversations to safe, non-debatable topics…We esteem Yah when we remain loving even when we disagree with the views and values of unbelievers. We must be careful how we disagree lest we compromise our testimony. (Me: You don’t yell and scream on unbelievers).
Author’s meditation: I will resist becoming contentious.
Day Seven: The Boasting Tongue: Let another praise you and not your own mouth; Someone else and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2
The authors asks a question: Are you so proud of your accomplishments or your possessions that you cannot help but boast about them? Boasting implies that your good fortune is (or your blessings are) a result of your own efforts. Have you forgotten that everything you have came from Yah? King Nebuchadnezzar did. One day, as he was strolling on the roof of his palace, he had a conversation with himself that would change the rest of his life.
“As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Just look at this great city of Babylon! I, by my own mighty power, have built this beautiful city as my royal residence and as an expression of my royal splendor’.” Daniyah 4:30 NLT
The author continues: Scripture tells us that Yah interrupted Nebuchadnezzar’s proud moment and declared to him that he would lose his kingdom immediately! He was driven from the palace and forced to live as a common derelict. His hair grew like feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. He even became mentally ill. (Me: We know that means that the demons took him over). It was not until he acknowledged Yah as the ruler over everything that Yah gave him back his sanity and restored his kingdom. (He repented unto Yah). Hear his testimony:
“At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and esteemed Him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (Daniyah 4:34-35).
Next, the authors states: We must learn to consciously take the backseat when pride screams for the front row. Study the fate of proud men in the bible. Meditate on scriptures that deal with humility and pride. The author said she has the following scripture framed in her office:
“Who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 1 Corinthians 4:7
Finally the author says, whatever skills or talents Yah has given to you, they are for His esteem. Learn to take praise in stride. If your popularity increases, don’t be intoxicated by the accolades. Remember that praise is like perfume. If you consume it, it will kill you!
The author ends the chapter with this scripture: “By the favor of Yah, I am what I am.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
Day Eight: The Self-Deprecating (Self-Despise) Tongue: Moshe said to the Most High, “O Yah, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10
According to the author, you engage in self-deprecation when you think or speak of yourself as being of little or no worth and thereby minimize the value of what you ‘bring to the table’ or have to offer. Notice how satan seeks to take us from one extreme to the other. He tries to make us either boastful or bashful. He tries to make us think that we are ‘da bomb’ or ‘done bombed’ (totally blew it). Don’t be ignorant of his tricks.
Self-deprecation is often disguised as humility but in reality, it is a rejection of the word of Yah which assures us we can do all things through Messiyah who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Watch those negative labels you put on yourself. What others call you is not important; It is only what you call yourself.
The author gave an example: Consider the account of Yahoshua and the man who had been possessed by demons for a very long time. “Yahoshua asked him saying, What is your name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him” (Luke 8:30 KJV). A “legion” was a major unit of the Roman army consisting of up to 6000 troops; “Legion” was not this man’s given name. Being possessed by a legion of demons was a temporary condition he had come to accept as permanent reality. He had dealt with the problem for so long that he labeled or defined himself by his experience.
The author asked a question: Have you had an experience that you have allowed to define you? Perhaps you have labeled yourself a ‘fatso’ because you have battled your weight for a long time with no apparent victory in sight. Alternatively, maybe you have defined yourself a ‘victim’ because you were truly victimized more than once. You may even consider yourself a ‘failure’ because you are divorced. It is time to abandon the negative labels and redefine yourself!
Self-deprecation displeases Yah. When Moshe complained that he was inadequate to lead the Israylites out of Egyptian bondage because of his speech impediment, Yah became upset.
“The Most High said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Most High? Now go, I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Exodus 4:11-12).
Me: Did y’all know that it was Yah that gave Moshe his speech impediment? Yah sent an angel to put hot coal on Moshe’s tongue to save his life from pharoah. You can read about this in the Book of Yasher (Jasher) chapter 70 and verse 29. So if Yah can put it on you, Yah can take it off you…HalleluYah.
The author continues: What an awesome promise from an Omnipotent Being who cannot lie. We must reject the spirit of inadequacy. Without Yah, we can do nothing anyway; With Him we can do all things. Because of the reality of His word, we can walk in confidence…not in ourselves…but in the favor of Yah that empowers us.
The author ends the chapter in what she likes to say (or think/mediate) to herself: Yah is able to make all favor abound toward me; So that I always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
Day Nine: The Slandering (to Back-Bite) Tongue: To hide hatred is to be a liar; To slander is to be a fool. Proverbs 10:18 NLT
The author begins by saying, slanderers make malicious, false or even true statements about others with the intent of damaging their reputation, character or good name…One thing that we can be assured of is that there won’t be any slanderers in (the kingdom).
“Yah, who may dwell in Your sanctuary? Who may live on your Set-apart hill? He whose walk is blameless (perfect) and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman (Psalm 15:1-3).
The author asked questions: Can you recall a time in which you made detracting remarks about someone? What was your motive in doing so? Why did you feel the need to diminish that person’s character in the eyes of another? Were you speaking out of the pain of being hurt by her? Did you envy her accomplishments? If so, you have not learned how to let your envy motivate you to achieve your own goals rather than cause you to defame another? It is likely you grudgingly admire and desire something that the other person possesses.
The author continues: Some people are so insecure and easily threatened that they feel they must cast aspersions on the character of others whom they perceive as ‘the competition’ in order to maintain their position. Such was the cast of Diotrephes, a (temple) leader. He found himself in a real dilemma when John (Yahanan) recommended some anointed teachers of (the good news) to speak at his (congregation). Plagued with insecurity, he feared that their visit would threaten his preeminence, so he refused to allow them to come. Yahanan was quite upset with his behavior and explained to his friend Gaius how he planned to deal with it.
“When I com, I will report some of the things he is doing and the wicked things he is saying about us. He not only refuses to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the (congregation)”. 3 John 1:10 NLT
The author continued: You can find many a Diotrephes in sacred and secular organizations. They cast aspersions on threatening newcomers. They accuse bright, talented women of getting ahead by means other than skills, talents and qualifications (on the job). They look for a chink in their victim’s armor. Contrary to what they think, diminishing the image of another is not going to enhance their image.
Resorting to slander is clear evidence that one has not embraced certain of Yah’s promises. For instance, because of Psalm 75: 6-7, I know for certain that promotions and exaltation come from Yah rather than man. This truth causes me to be a team player. There is no reason for me to snuff out anybody’s light so that mine will shine. Further, Yah has declared that no man can thwart His purpose for our lives. (Me: Did you understand that last sentence? It was heavy. She said that whatever the Most High has for that person to get done…you will not stop it……
The author quotes this scripture: “The Most High Almighty has spoken, who can change his plans? When His hand moves, who can stop Him? (Isaiah 14:27)
Since Yah has secured our (path) and has promised to avenge all wrongs perpetrated against us, why engage in slander? I find it interesting, says the author, that the Greek word for “slander” is derived from diabolos, which means “devil.” (Strong’s definition). Slandering is an illegal, diabolical act that Yah abhors. When we attempt to defame others with our denigrating words, we are sowing evil seeds for which we will surely reap the consequences. “He who guards his mouth preserves life but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3 NKJV).
The author leaves a final word about slander: I refuse to be a slanderer. I will use Philippians 4:8 as my conversation sifter. Therefore, whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy about someone, I comment only on these things.
Day Ten: The Gossiping Tongue: The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; They go down to a man’s inmost parts. Proverbs 18:8
The author asked a question: Do you sometimes engage in idle and often malicious talk about the personal affairs of another? Gossip can be such a delectable “choice morsel” that many find it impossible to resist. The author said that she is sure that everyone who has read her book is guilty of partaking of this popular time, either as a bearer or a hearer at one time or another.
The author asked another question: Did you know that gossiping can lower your sense of self-worth? How? When you gossip, you tend to realize you are not walking in integrity. We feel best about ourselves, says the author, when we do things that are pleasing to Yah; After all, He created us for His pleasure.
The author asked a slew of questions: What’s the solution? How do you stop gossiping? Catch yourself before you indulge! Ask yourself why you are being a bearer of such news. Is this the only way you know how to establish camaraderie with others? Do you need to be the center of attention? Does it make you feel superior to know something negative about somebody that the hearer doesn’t know? Are you envious of your subject’s accomplishments? Why are you willing to use the temple of Yah as a “trash receptacle” by being a receiver of gossip? What do you plan to do with the information a gossip shares with you? Are you bored with your life and need more meaningful activities? It has been my observation, says the author, that those who are ardently pursuing their own goals and aspirations (or in our case, those doing the work of Yah) are less likely to waste time discussing the affairs of another.
The author continued: If you are serious about eliminating gossip from your life, you must start an all-out campaign against it. Let everyone know you will not be a bearer or a hearer of “choice morsels” about anyone. Declare your environment, whether at work, at home, or at play, to be a “gossip-free zone.” Make every effort to avoid gossip-mongers. Proverbs 20:19 warns, “A gossip tells secrets, so don’t hang around with someone who talks too much” (NLT).
The author warns: Refusing to engage in gossip may result in fewer visitors and phone calls; However, your impact will be far-reaching….When your tongue is used as an instrument of righteousness, your stock will rise in heaven. You will be able to humbly declare, with complete dependence on the Father, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Yah, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
The author likes to meditate on this: I am not a busybody in other people’s matters. Therefore, I do not yield my tongue as an instrument of gossip.
Day Eleven: The Meddling Tongue: Some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people’s business. 2 Thessalonians 3:11 NLT
The author explains: “Nosey Rosey” is the label that the people in my hometown placed on those who were always prying into or meddling in the affairs of others. (Me: On my end of the block there’s this lady whom my family calls “Ms. Nose,” this woman comes over pretending to walk her dog to ask all types of nose-y questions about what’s going on in your household). The author continued: While mothers-in-law have the reputation for being prime meddlers, they have not cornered the market on this vice. Men, relatives, co-workers and well-meaning friends are also prone to prying from time to time.
The author says, unlike gossips, meddlers usually seek personal information directly from their subjects (Me: Yes, just like Ms. Nose, that I just told you about, they come up to you and ask personal questions about your household. If one of our cars was in the shop, she would come ask where was the car. If someone was out of work, she would come and ask why so & so isn’t working…they watch you). The author gave examples of meddler questions: “How can you afford such an expensive item?” “What size is the dress you’re wearing? “How much did you pay for this house?” “How long can you afford to be off from work?” These are the types of questions that serve no other purpose than to satisfy an inquiring mind. In all fairness, not everyone who makes inquiries is meddling. Many are sincerely interested in helping others.
The author continued: Whether you are genuinely concerned or just plain curious, be especially careful to avoid probing questions when conversing with those who are ill. “What did the doctor say about your condition?” Bad question. It is best to wait for someone to volunteer detailed information about his personal health.
If you are prone to natural curiosity, you must make a special effort to keep your inquisitiveness within the bounds of what is socially appropriate. In some situations you may have no intentions of prying; However, you may still run the risk of your inquisitiveness offending others… I try to be mindful of the fact that some individuals and even people of certain cultures, do not know that others deem their queries as nosiness. Usually a simple response such as, “I’m sorry, that’s confidential” or “That’s personal” will be sufficient to stop further probing. (Me: Do y’all remember what we use to tell nose-y kids back in the day? “You all up in my kool-aid and don’t know the mix” lol. That nose-y person would usually back off.
The bible offers an interesting perspective on meddling: “He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears” (Proverbs 26:17 NKJ). A dog’s ears are one of the most sensitive parts of his body; If you pull them, he may bite you. Likewise, when we stick our noses where they do not belong, we may get a negative response. The author gave an example of when she was being nose-y about the financial situation of a relative and ended up getting “bit” by the relative while trying to be helpful. She learned her lesson. The author recommends, you might want to pray about it first and leave the matter to Yah. He is always better at influencing circumstances than we are (Me: So don’t you meddle by constantly asking them questions about a situation, pray for them).
The author continued: If you are a parent, some meddling is certainly in order to keep your inexperienced, live-at-home children from going down the wrong path. Don’t be afraid of their negative attitudes or their rejection. In the final analysis, most of them will appreciate your intervention. If your children have reached adulthood, try to accept the fact that grown-ups do not need parenting. The law of sowing and reaping the consequences of bad decisions is still one of the most effective teachers of life’s lessons. Give them space to learn.
If you are indeed, a genuine meddler, know that Yah does not consider your nose-poking a small matter. He classifies this sin…yes, SIN, with murder and stealing.
“If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs (1 Kepha or Peter 4:15 NLT).
The author asked: When tempted to meddle, why not engage in a little self-interrogation? Ask yourself, “Do I have a sincere, unselfish motive for prying into this matter or am I attempting to control things for my desired objectives?” Someone once said that one reason why people who mind their own business are successful is that they have so little competition. Think about that! says the author.
The author meditates on this: I am genuinely interested in others and only seek information from them that will allow me to serve, love and support them better.
Day Twelve: The Betraying Tongue: A gossip betrays a confidence but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13
Betrayal is a more blatant act than gossip. A gossip may not necessarily harbor any ill will toward his victim; However, a betrayer divulges information in breach of a confidence. He gives information to the “enemy” and commits relational treason by violating the trust someone has placed in him. This unrighteous use of the tongue is designed to hurt or disadvantage.
Yahudah (Judas) was able to betray Yahoshua with very little effort because he was familiar with His comings and goings.
“Now Judas, who betrayed Him, knew the place because Yahoshua had often met there with his apostles (John 18:2).
Yahudah (Judas) used his inside knowledge of Yahoshua’s habits to hurt Him. Later, his betrayal caused Judas such self-loathing that he committed suicide. (Me: I was thinking here, that demon(s) never left Yahudah completely even though he repented of being a betrayer, because he killed himself).
The author asked questions: “Have you ever betrayed someone’s confidence? Be honest. Why did you do it? What was the payoff? Did you gain some advantage because of it? Were you feeling envious at the time? Was there an unresolved conflict between the two of you? Have you repented for this sin?
On the other hand, has someone betrayed your confidence? Were you reaping what you had sown? What valuable lesson did you learn from the incident? Have you released the offender in your heart and no longer desire vengeance? If not, you are still bound to him and he is still controlling your life. Let it go. Yah saw the betrayal before it happened and while it was happening. Since He chose not to intervene, accept it as part of His sovereign plan for your life. Learn from the burn, but forgive to live. Remind yourself that in the final analysis, the incident will work together for your good because you love Yah and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
The author continued: Decide today to strive to be a trustworthy person (Me: Remember the book of Ruth post on this blog, Yah loved Ruth because she was trustworthy) whom others can depend upon to guard their secrets. If you are blessed to have a trustworthy friend, thank Yah for such a rare (ornament, jewel).
The author likes to meditate on the following: I am a trustworthy person and can be depended upon to keep a confidence.
Day Thirteen: The Belittling Tongue: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
The author asked questions: Do people feel better about themselves after spending time with you? Or are your expectations so high that you focus on their shortcomings rather than their assets? If someone speaks well of a person you envy, do you follow up with a disparaging remark? Are you so insecure that you can only feel good about yourself by denigrating others? “Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB).
The author give the hammer as an example of something that build or destroy, like the tongue. The author continued: How do you use your words mostly? Is it your normal behavior to build? Conquer belittling by acting like a cheerleader and a coach to build your family (in Yah). Cheerleaders tell you that you can do it; Coaches tell you how to reach the goal. They all have the same goal: They want you to win!
…Resist the temptation to constantly “fix” something about someone. (Me: If they are righteous), accept them as they are and remember that you only have them for a season. (Me: Here I thought about what Yahoshua said about the splinter that you see in someone’s eye yet don’t know about the “log” in your own.
The author meditates on the following: No unwholesome talk comes out of my mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Day Fourteen: The Cynical Tongue: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the unrighteous nor stands in the way of sinners nor sits in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1
The author recites: Eliab (Yliab), David’s brothers, was a true cynic. When David went down to the scene of the battle and saw Goliath, the Philistine giant who was intimidating the Israylites, he became indignant. He emphatically and confidently stated that he would personally take care of this “uncircumcised Philistine” (1 Shemuyah 17:36). Circumcision “is” a sign of Yah’s covenant of protection and provision for the Israylites. David knew that this bully had no such covenant with Yah; Only the Israylites could claim such a benefit. David was very secure in the covenant and totally embraced Yah’s promise. Obviously, this was not so for Yliab.
“Now Yliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men and Yliab’s anger burned against David and he said, ‘Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart, for you have come down in order to see the battle’.” But David said, “What have I done now?” (1 Shemuyah 17:28-29 NASB).
Yliab, whose name meant “The Power is my Father” imagine one with such a name running from the giant, asked the author. *(I corrected the meaning of Yliab’s name here from any pagan titles) and scorned David’s confidence and his motives; cynicism had him in its grip.
A person who is cynical scorns the motives of others. Cynicism is like venom, wrote the author; It poisons the atmosphere wherever it is present. Resorting to it will also poison your spirit and that of others. Find one cynical employee, assembly member, or family member and pretty soon those with weaker minds are chiming in and perpetuating the negative conversation. It can wreak havoc on any relationship and in any environment. The author gave an example of her taking her employees to a mandatory lunch to de-stress and reward them for their hard work. The author continued: There was one antisocial sourpuss, however, who always put a damper on our outings with her cynical remarks and overall negative attitude about the company. I finally started letting her stay at the office while the rest of us had a good time. I found that distancing myself from a cynic was my best coping strategy.
Finally, the author says, as you proceed on your tongue fast, really begin to observe your comments in various settings and determine if you are being cynical or scornful. Retire from cynicism today (Repent).
The author’s meditation: I am blessed because I do not walk in the counsel of the unrighteous nor stand in the way of sinners nor sit in the seat of the scornful.
Day Fifteen: The Know-It-All Tongue: A prudent man conceals knowledge. Proverbs 12:23 NASB
Are you so all-knowing that you cannot refrain from giving unsolicited input? Do you have an unusually high regard for your opinion? Do you regularly use the expression, “You should…?” Please allow me to gently remind you that most emotionally healthy people will resent someone who always assumes he knows what is best for them. We must give people the benefit of the doubt in pursuing independent course of action. (Me: I underlined independent here because we know that we are always dependent on Yah and Yah may be speaking to this person and the know-it-all may not know that). The author continued: Even if you feel you have earned the right to speak into someone’s life or to give unsolicited advice, proceed with caution. “Have you considered…?” sounds a lot less controlling and will be more welcomed, especially by men, than “You should…” Married women, take heed! Real men aren’t looking for a mother. Right before I got married, one of my spiritual advisors gave me a bit of advise, says the author. “We know you’re smart,” she cautioned, “but don’t know everything. Let your husband know some things sometimes.” I have heeded this simple wisdom for more than a quarter of a century with good results.
(Me: I was thinking here about the old prophet in 1 Kings. He probably seemed knowledgeable to the prophet Yah had sent saying not to drink or eat. But he gave in to the old prophet’s know-it-all, lying words of what Yah did not say. The prophet wanted to eat/drink. I remember when I was a teen, my grandma use to warn us about sitting on the phone to long….talking A LOT and knowing everything because soon you start lying, on the phone).
The author continued: Even if you have knowledge and insight into a certain situation, sometimes its prudent to keep silent and give another the joy and fulfillment of explaining it to you. “Wise people don’t make a show of their knowledge” (Proverbs 12:23 NLT). Assuming the role of the arrogant expert on almost every topic is a sure indication of pride, which is repulsive behavior to Yah and man.
The author asked, how do you let go of that know-it-all tongue? You can start by letting someone share information with you that you already know, without letting him know that you know it. This can be great training in humility and emotional maturity. The author gave an example. When she goes to buy a car ever so often, she remains silent and lets the salesmen explain all the terms. She said her husband gets upset because he wants to tell the guy she is a certified public accountant of many, many years. She stays silent because she wants to maintain humility and not sound like a know-it-all.
The author continued: Even if you are brilliant but humble, your mere presence may cause those with low self-esteem to feel inferior. Certainly, then, displaying intellectual superiority will alienate others. Some people may look for areas of weakness to “cut you down to size.”
If you tend to be a know-it-all says the author, maybe you need to do a little honest introspection. Is your display of knowledge a smoke screen for insecurity? Are you craving attention or appreciation because you are not getting it from the source you desire? When interacting with a group, you might want to actively listen to others, ask for their ideas, resist correcting or contradicting anybody and limit your input to only one or two points. Your interpersonal relationships will improve when people feel that interacting with you has been a mutual sharing of ideas.
The author’s meditation: I am prudent and therefore, I do not flaunt my knowledge.
Day Sixteen: The Harsh Tongue: A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
The author begins: In my impatience and frustration with incompetence or low productivity in others, I have sometimes made what some felt were harsh remarks. When I have worked in a company culture where termination for poor performance was rare, I felt that telling the employee the harsh truth was my only recourse. This imprudent use of my tongue has never yielded positive results.
Solomon says of the wise woman in the book of Proverbs, “She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26 NKJ). Speaking kindly to others was one of the core principles of this woman’s life. When you really think about it, there is never any justification for being harsh or unkind in our communication. If we claim that Yah is our Father, we won’t practice such behavior either. We will deliberately choose words that are warmhearted, understanding and sympathetic. As a steward of the favor Yah has extended to us, we must in turn extend that same grace to others. We must cultivate the habit of speaking kind words especially to those whom we feel may not deserve it, isn’t that what grace is all about? (Me: Don’t cuss this person out. This person may repent after observing your righteous behavior).
The author continued: Caution! This does not mean that we are to bury our heads in the sand and refuse to deal with problematic situations. However, before we approach anyone, we must go to Yah and get His words, which always get the desired results. “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). We cannot achieve Yah’s purpose while being harsh.
There are various degrees of harshness, with verbal abuse being at the extreme end of the spectrum. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me” is totally untrue. Harsh words never die and they can impact a person for a lifetime. Many who are considered society’s outcasts today have been victims of verbal abuse at some point during their lives. Their perpetrators include parents, teachers, insecure spouses, and others who may have been battling their own emotional issues. (Me: Did y’all know that demons can talk to you through these people?)
The author continued: If you find that you are prone to speaking harshly when angry, begin to seek Yah for deliverance. Whatever it takes, including enrolling in anger management classes, do it. Solomon said, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32 NKJV). You can begin to take control over that destructive behavior by the power of the (Set-apart) Spirit.
Remember that cutting words can never be recovered, so don’t let harshness or verbal abuse be named among your character traits. Make a decision that kindness will be one of the core principles of your life.
The author meditates on these words: I open my mouth with wisdom. The law of kindness is on my tongue.
Day Seventeen: The Tactless Tongue: Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone. Colossians 4:6 NLT
Daniyah and his three friends faced a real dilemma. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon had besieged their city and taken the inhabitants captive. He selected several handsome and intelligent young men of nobility who were to serve in his court once they completed a three year training curriculum (It’s interesting how we always have to attend their schools, learn their ways). The problem was that the king’s nutritional program would require them to violate their strict (clean-meat) diet. Without any hint of rebelliousness, Daniyah skillfully finessed his way out of his predicament.
“Daniyah purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies nor with the wine which he drank; Therefore, he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniyah 1:8 NKJV).
The author said, notice that Daniyah very tactfully requested permission to follow an alternative eating plan, even though he had already decided that under no circumstance was he going to partake of such defiled provisions. Yah gave him favor with the head training official, who agreed to let him follow a vegetarian diet. Lesson learned: We will always get more mileage from (negotiation) than tactlessness.
The author continued further down the page: While honesty is indeed the best policy, it is not a license to say whatever we want. One of the most important skills we can develop is the ability to deal with others with sensitivity and to speak inoffensively when we find ourselves in difficult or problematic situations.
You would think that exhibiting graciousness would be an easy task for one who claims to be filled with the favor of Yah. The author goes on to say not to let anyone take advantage of your kindness however that she struggled with having a tactless tongue due to seeing a family member taken advantage of but the author said she has repented of her behavior.
The author asked a question: Is it ever necessary to be brutally honest? After all, can’t we be honest without being brutal? Even Iyob declared in the midst of his suffering, “How painful are honest words!” (Iyob 6:25). Must pain always accompany the truth? The extent to which a person experiences pain from being told the truth depends on numerous variables, including his degree of emotional security, his perceived worth or his desire to grow.
We must understand that extending grace and telling the truth are not mutually exclusive concepts. We can tell the truth tactfully. “For the law was given through Moshe; Grace and truth came through Yahoshua Messiyah” (Yahanan/John 1:17). Yahoshua never allowed His graciousness to prevent Him from imparting the truth.
The author asked another question: What about mean-spirited truthfulness? Have you ever been intentionally tactless? The author explained that she spoke the truth to someone but she did it in anger, frustration, disappointment or retaliation. This reminds me of (some) Israylites that will tell the true name of the Messiyah but will yell it to someone perhaps hoping the person will not believe and as a result die.
The author continued: It was William Blake who said, “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent”. Of course, says the author, it is understood that we must always be quick to apologize for our intentional and unintentional (unrighteous) tactlessness.
The key is to develop a habit of being tactful in every situation…Becoming a tactful person does indeed require some practice. The author encourages, when you feel that you are about to say something tacky…to delay, then review your words in your mind and evaluate their impact. We can then says the author, choose to yield to the Set-apart Spirit’s leading. This practice alone will help us to develop the emotional discipline necessary for stifling tactless remarks.
The author meditates on these words: My words are seasoned with grace as I speak the truth in love.
Day Eighteen: The Intimidating Tongue: The Philistine said to David, “Come to me and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field! 1 Shemuyah 17:44
Goliath thought killing David was going to be a piece of cake since David was such an inexperienced warrior. Notwithstanding, Goliath decided to employ a little verbal intimidation before he triumphed over him. He engaged in name-calling, used threatening language and tried to minimize David’s potential, all standard tactics for the effective intimidator. David’s response was not at all what Goliath expected. Rather than succumbing to fear, he assertively declared his faith in his Power.
“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and lance but I come against you in the name of the Most High Almighty, the Power of the armies of Ysrayl, whom you have defied. This day the Most High will hand you over to me and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head’ (1 Shemuyah 17:45-46)”.
The author continued: The intimidator counts on his victim to wilt in the face of a verbal attack. That’s why sometimes, when it is safe, you have to let an intimidator know you refuse to be oppressed by him and that you do indeed have the Yah-given strength to resist his tactics. The author told a story of a construction manager who tried to yell/intimidate her and others. Yah is the only one you should fear.
…While it may be scary to confront intimidating bullies, they will often quickly back down when someone stands up to them. Yah has never meant for anyone to oppress or dominate another person. (Me: Unless He is correcting them). The author continued: Note that in the Garden of Eden, He gave Adam and Eve dominion over the animals, not over each other or other people. (Me: Until Eve sinned, then Yah put man to rule over woman as part of righteous punishment).
“Yah blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28).
Although it can be a precursor to but usually stops short of, physical violence, verbal intimidation can have a severe physical and emotional impact on its target. Many victims suffer from headaches, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, stress, fatigue, low self-esteem and depression. This is not how Yah intended His children to affect each other’s lives.
…If you are an intimidator, it is time to get in touch with why you feel you need to gain power or control over others…Many intimidators grew up in chaotic or otherwise negative environments in which they felt powerless to change their circumstances. They vowed they would never allow their lives to be so out of control again, so they seek control. Others are simply a bundle of insecurities and use intimidation as a facade to mask their fears. Whatever the cause, intimidators can never hope to have a meaningful relationship with anyone who is forced into submission.
How to meditate on this day: Because Yah is in control of every aspect of my life and has set my (path), I have no need to control the behavior of others.
Day Nineteen: The Rude Tongue: There will be a highway called the Set-apart Road. No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road. It’s for Yah’s people exclusively. Isaiah 35:8 MSG
The author said, speaking of the highway, wouldn’t it be great if there were a special freeway for only nice, considerate people? The thoroughfares are the theater where road rage is played out every single day. Discourteous drivers yell obscenities to fellow drivers young and old.
The author asked questions? What has made us so rude? Is it the overbooked schedules, longer commuting times, demanding bosses, spoiled children and the stress of daily living? Perhaps our lack of patience can be attributed to the modern conveniences that allow us to do almost everything in mere seconds. Showing patience is a rare occurrence. Ill-mannered, discourteous communication has become standard practice, (sometimes) even among Yah’s children. The author gave an example of witnessing someone cut off someone while he was talking and everyone was uncomfortable with it but said nothing.
The author continued: Being rude to others is very denigrating to them and can spoil their entire day. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Do unto others? Why, we do not even have time to think about others! We are totally absorbed with our own agendas. (Paraphrased) The author gave an example, saying it is rude to sit in assembly and be on your cell phone, you are supposed to be listening to the lesson or you are at a family dinner and you are talking loud on your phone while ignoring the person(s) you took out to dinner.
…Shouldn’t our love for Yah and the desire to represent Him well here on earth have an impact on our day-to-day behavior? “Love is patient and kind. Love is not…rude. Love does not demand its own way” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NLT).
What if someone is rude to us? Should we just let it go? Is it biblical (or of Yah) to address the situation or should we just grin and bear it? While Yah has not called us to be a wimpy milquetoast (timid person) who always rolls over and accepts rude behavior, we must confront rudeness in a direct but non-offensive manner. It may not be necessary to tell a person, “You are so rude.” However, it is a good idea to let her know you are aware of her lack of graciousness at the moment. Sometimes a well-phrased, caring question will do the trick. “Tough day, huh?” Of course, if you really feel that you have been mistreated, you should report the incident to someone in authority where possible. Some people continue their rudeness because they get away with it; Reporting it may bring consequences that will ultimately change their behavior. Most importantly, do not allow people to suck you into the vacuum of their negativity by matching their rudeness with rudeness. (Me: Remember we are not to repay evil for evil). The author gave an example: The other day someone hung up in my face. My first thought was to call him back immediately so that I could return the behavior. The (Set-apart) Spirit reminded me of the admonitions I had written under the “Retaliating Tongue.” There is never a justification for being rude.
If you find you tend to speak rudely to others, repent and recommit to following the Golden Rule. Know that when you are rude, you have made a very selfish and unrighteous decision that your needs or concerns are paramount to all others.
Yah’s people are patient, considerate and kind. Remember that tomorrow when you encounter a person whose actions beg you to respond in an unrighteous way.
The author’s meditation: I will slow down and take the time to do unto others as I would have them do unto me.
Day Twenty: The Judgmental Tongue: Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged. Mattithyah 7:1-2
Yahoshua had no tolerance for those judgmental Pharisees. What a miserable bunch they were! This religious sect of Israylites was always looking for something to nitpik about regarding violation of the law of Moshe or their own man-made traditions. Their critiquing ran the gamut from judging the apostles for not washing their hands to criticizing Yahoshua for healing on the Shabbat. Consider Yahoshua’s response to them:
“You judge by human standards, I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are right because I am not alone. I stand with my Father, who sent me” (John 8:15-16).
Judgmental people engage in a critical, fault-finding assessment of another person’s behavior. What is amazing is that they judge others by their actions but judge themselves by their intentions. Of course, most of us tend to judge others from an autobiographical viewpoint. If someone’s behavior does not reflect a choice or decision we would have made, we judge it as wrong. I often catch myself judging people who move at a slow pace as lazy or slow-witted, simply because the only two modes in which I operate are “intense” and “off.” I have to remind myself, says the author, that they are not lazy but just different.
There are some people who pass judgment on others based solely upon rumors they may have heard that may not have a modicum of truth……We must be careful how we discuss others. (Paraphrased) The author gave an example. She and her husband noted the disappointed looks on the faces of various assembly members when they would not engage in conversation about someone, because she and her husband would not give any information that they could use to pass judgment on the person. Yahoshua was emphatic about His displeasure with judgmental folks.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye (Mattithyah 7:3-5).
Yahoshua based His judgment of people’s behavior on nothing other than Yah’s standard. This is the only basis from which we can righteously judge. We would do well to focus more on judging ourselves than hunting for specks in the matters of others.
Pray for those whom you observe walking contrary to Yah’s standards but avoid judgment. (Me: I want to interject here about what the Israylites have said about judgment. It’s not judgment, they said, if you are telling someone a law in the bible. For example, gay people think you are judging them if you tell them the law of Yah). The author continued: If you have a genuine concern for someone and have earned the right to address his or her behavior, then do so in the spirit of love. Remember that you earn the right by consistently demonstrating your care and support.
The author meditates on these words: I do not judge others or I too will be judged. For in the same way that I judge, I will be judged.
Day Twenty-One: The Self-Absorbed Tongue: Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
Haman, a Persian government official mentioned in the book of Esther (Hadassah), was self-absorption personified. “Haman boasted to his friends and wife about his vast wealth, his many sons and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials” (Esther 5:11). On and on he went. Throughout the entire account of his life, we never see him express interest in anyone other than himself. Like Haman’s family and friends, some people perpetuate this kind of insensitivity by grinning and bearing it, though they may be ever so bored.
The author asked a question: Are most of your conversations with others centered on you and your issues? A self-absorbed tongue will surely alienate others as almost everyone desires to be the focus of attention occasionally. The author explained that she had a friend that would always keep the conversation on herself.
Become aware of this character flaw in your communication. Ask Yah to make you genuinely interested in others….If you find yourself involved with a self-absorbed person, try asking him to give you some advice or input about an issue that does not involve him. If he attempts to direct the conversation to himself, quickly acknowledge his concern about the matter but change the subject to something that is not about him. For instance you may say, “I’m sure that this issue really concerns you. Did you hear about…?” If he persists, you would do well to muster the courage to say, “I really don’t want to talk about that today.” You may need to be a broken record as you attempt these strategies. After all, self-absorption dies hard.
The author continued: If you admit to being the self-absorbed type, turn your desires for attention, ego boosting and other selfish needs over to your Heavenly Shepherd, who supplies all your needs. Make a conscientious effort to become “others-absorbed.” Challenge yourself to go a whole day or more without making your issues the focus of your communication. Give everyone you converse with your full attention and watch your relationships deepen.
The author’s meditation: I look not only to my own interests but to the interest of others. Therefore, my issues are not the primary topic of my conversations.
Day Twenty-Two: The Cursing and The Profane Tongues: Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things out not to be so. James 3:10 NKJV
*I have changed the title of this chapter. Originally, the author called the chapter: The Cursing Tongue however, I changed it, in order to clarify the difference between cursing and profanity.
…James the brother of Yahoshua, explained in this way:
“No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Father Yah and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of Yah (James 3:8-9 NKJV).
Me: Here I will give you an example of cursing someone, this is from Numbers chapter 22. Balaam was sent to put a curse, spell or witchcraft on the Children of Ysrayl:
At that time Balak, son of Zippor, was king of Moab. 5 He sent messengers to summon Balaam, son of Beor, who was at Pethor, on the Euphrates River, in the land where his people lived. Balak’s message was, “A nation has just come here from Egypt. They’ve spread out all over the countryside and are setting up their camp here in front of me. 6 Please come and curse these people for me, because they are too strong for me. Maybe then I’ll be able to defeat them and force them out of the country. I know that whomever you bless is blessed and whomever you curse is cursed.” 7 The leaders of Moab and Midian left, taking money with them to pay for Balaam’s services. They came to Balaam and told him what Balak had said.
Me: Remember what Yah said to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3. Another example of cursing is telling someone that they will never amount to anything.
Let’s continue with what the author says about the profane, expletive tongue: Using profane, obscene or vulgar language is unbecoming to a child of Yah. I believe people use profanity for various reasons. First, they often lack an adequate vocabulary with which to express themselves and therefore feel they must (use profanity) for their words to have impact. Those who are challenged in this area must start to develop a communication style that is direct, clear and without hostility. They may find that expletives are unnecessary. Secondly, some people resort to profanity to release their extreme frustration with a situation. They have developed an unrighteous pattern of expressing their displeasure and need to retrain their responses. They would do well to decide in advance upon some alternate words to use when they find themselves reaching the peak of frustration.
Me: Did y’all know that damn and hell are not profane words? According to the Israylites, damn is a shortened form of condemned and the word hell, hades means the grave. The “F” word or “F” bomb is a profane word. I truly believe that the profane phrase son of be or SOB comes from satan and that he is talking about Yah. Mother F’er also comes from satan and his people. The documentary, ‘Goodbye Uncle Tom’ explained where Mo-F’er came from. Slave owners use to put a bag over the slaves heads and make them have intercourse with their own mothers…See this is one of the reasons Yah says this place will destroyed in one hour!
The author continued: While I wholeheartedly believe that profane words should not come out of my mouth, I often found myself thinking, though not saying, them on many occasions. When I would stub my toe, break something of value, upset a stack of papers, spill a drink, have an encounter with an extremely difficult person or confront any other frustrating situation, I would silently use profanity. The author wondered why such expressions as [‘halleluyah’] or some other Yah-honoring phrase didn’t come to her mind. The author continued: I took the matter to the Most High in prayer. “Master, I understand according to Luke 6:45, ‘A good person produces good deeds from a good heart and an evil person produces evil deeds from an evil heart. Whatever is in your heart determines what you say’ (NLT). Would You please take the four-letter words out of my heart and replace them with Your expressions? I thank You in advance for purging me of profanity and for allowing the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be acceptable in Your sight.”
Understanding that profanity resides in the heart helps us to reject the idea that a (profane) word “slipped” out of our mouth. The reality is that it slipped out of the heart. Only Yah can cleanse a person’s heart. If you are challenged with profanity, ask Yah to purify your heart and your mind. Remember that words are verbal thoughts. We must practice the mental discipline of casting down profane thoughts and using words that bring life to our innermost being and to others.
Meditate on this: Cursing (and profanity) does not proceed out of my mouth. Today, I give Yah full charge of my tongue. By His grace, I will only speak words that will bring honor to His name.
Day Twenty-Three: The Complaining Tongue: I cry aloud with my voice to Yah. I make supplication (prayer) with my voice to Yah. I pour out my complaint before Him. I declare my trouble before Him. Psalm 142:1-2 NASB
The five daughters of Zelophehad had a problem. Their father had died in the wilderness before the Israylites came into the Promised Land. Zelphehad did not have any sons to inherit his portion of the land and the law did not provide for women to receive the son’s portion instead. Consequently, his daughters, not having a father, a brother, husband, son or any other man in their immediate family, were left out completely. Rather than complaining to others, they called a “congressional hearing” (Numbers 27) and presented their petition for an inheritance to Moshe and the leaders. When Moshe took their case to Yah, He agreed with the women and granted their request. Now, what do you think the outcome would have been had they simply whined to anyone in the multitude who would listen rather than bringing it to those in authority? I doubt they would have obtained their inheritance. (Me: There is such a thing as righteous complaining versus unrighteous complaining. An example of unrighteous complaining would be how the Children of Ysrayl complained over and over again among themselves against Yah and Moshe in the wilderness. They complained about the leadership, food, water so on and so forth).
A legitimate complaint can only be resolved if you direct it to the one who can change your situation. Only a few people who are dissatisfied, annoyed or upset by an experience actually take steps to officially complain about it. They prefer to waste time soliciting others to commiserate with them. What an exercise in futility. Not only could their input to the right person improve things for them but for others as well.
The psalmist in the opening scripture of this chapter did not bore, frustrate or waste the time of others with his complaints. He declares, “I pour out my complaint before Him,” the one who could bring change.
Notwithstanding, even Yah tires of constant complaints….During your tongue fast, become aware of how often you complain about nonessential matters such as a rainy day, traffic jams, boring television programs, lazy co-workers and so on.
The author continued: Because complaining is contagious, this is a hard mouth malady to cure…If you are a complainer, you must start to resist the constant “ain’t it awful” party. Trust me, others will be glad you did and will stop dreading conversations with you. This is not to say you shouldn’t seek an occasional sympathetic ear or wise counsel from a valued source. However, if you are going to ignore their advice and continue to rehearse the problem each time you converse, beware. Thy listener shall soon become weary of thee! Whenever you feel a complaint coming on, replace it with a statement of gratitude (to Yah) or a declaration of a scripture you have personalized. ‘
The author meditates on this: Because Yah works all things together for my good, according to His purpose for my life, I will not complain.
Day Twenty-Four: The Retaliating Tongue: Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what Yah wants you to do and He will bless you for it. 1 Kepha (Peter) 3:9 NLT
There is nothing as easy as verbal retaliation, says the author. Of course, the thrill of it is only a fleeting pleasure for those who love Yah; The remorse for succumbing to this sin tends to linger. Retaliation used to be one of my biggest challenges. That’s why I praise Yah for His Set-apart Spirit who convicts, guides and works in me to do His good pleasure. I have made a concerted effort in recent months to take the high road in every situation in which someone attempts to criticize, diminish or disparage me in any way. I knew I would not be able to write this chapter if I did not get the victory over this stronghold.
Satan has presented me with many opportunities to practice my desired behavior. While I do not recall an instance of returning a negative response directly to someone, I found pleasure in sharing with my administrative assistant, my husband or a friend the words that I would have said had I not chosen the high road. The Set-apart Spirit impressed upon me that this was still my way of getting indirect satisfaction. The ultimate victory would come only when I refused to dignify the person’s remarks with any comments and refrained from discussing the matter with anyone. Satan has taunted me and tried to make me feel that I am becoming a wimp. You would have to know how much I loath people who let others treat them like a doormat to really understand how hard this has been for me. I grew up seeing key people in my life suffer the harsh words of others in silence. I promised myself that if anybody treated me that way, I would return the treatment. [Me: I thought she was probably speaking about her parents here, maybe. I had a family member that use to speak to me in a harsh evil tone. After I found out about Yah, I always would read this scripture: Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged (Colossians 3:21)]. However, as I studied the scriptures dealing with conflict management, I learned that the root meaning of the word “retaliate” is to “return the punishment.” The bible is very clear in admonishing us to avoid retaliation.
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to Yah. For it is written, “I will take vengeance. I will repay those who deserve it,” says Yah (Romans 12: 17-19NLT).
…In recalling those times when I have been victorious (in getting payback), I realize that my responses required humility , a desire to understand the other person’s behavior and a commitment to obey and esteem Yah…the practicality of it hits home when I take it a day at a time. I encourage you to take up this challenge and see yourself grow ten feet tall in the spirit. Try to stay mindful of the fact that when we decide that it is our personal responsibility to avenge the wrongs perpetrated against us, we have crossed the boundary into forbidden territory.
Meditate on this: I will not repay evil with evil or insult with insult but blessing, because to this I have been called so that I may inherit a blessing.
Day Twenty-Five: The Accusing Tongue: The accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our Father day and night, has been hurled down. Revelation 12:10
The author begins: Things were going badly for Iyob. He had lost his children, his health and his wealth. To add insult to injury, his insensitive, well-meaning friends accused him of pride, covetousness and a host of other character failings (Iyob 22). Although they came to sympathize with him, these three miserable comforters spent the majority of the time trying to convince Iyob he was responsible for his own woes. Such an accusation was more than this innocent victim of satanic circumstances could bear. Iyob knew he was an upright man who walked in complete integrity. Wracked with physical pain, he was also forced to bear the pain of false accusations.
Have you ever charged someone with wrongdoing before you established evidence of his guilt? When you do so, you fall into the same pattern as satan, the official accuser of Yah’s children.
Emotional and spiritual maturity dictate that you must seek first to understand rather than making an accusation. Look a the example Yah set in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve blew it. He could have easily said, “Adam and Eve, you ungrateful sinners, I should never have trusted you in My garden!” Yah’s non-accusatory style in confronting Adam and Eve about their trespass provides a powerful model for those of us who tend to accuse before obtaining all the facts of the matter.
Then Yah Almighty called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Genesis 3:0-11 NKJV).
The author continued: I could not help but note that Yah already knew the answer to each of the three questions He asked Adam. Notwithstanding, He gave Adam an opportunity to explain his behavior. Asking clarifying a question and listening to the response are key steps in overcoming an accusing tongue. I repeat, ask and listen.
The author asked questions: Has anyone ever accused you falsely? Have your motives been called into question when you knew they were pure? How should you respond to such injustice? Well, the first step is to ask Yah’s guidance as to whether to proclaim your innocence and the best way to do so. If the lie has affected someone, you might explain to that person that the accusation is simply not true. You have no control over whether or not he will believe you. Also, if you are not certain who the perpetrator is, do not waste your energy trying to find the source of the lie. Know that all lies originate with satan. Period.
Finally the author says, I have had people make comments about another person’s incompetence or shortcomings and then falsely attribute their statement to me to give it credibility. When I have opportunity to refute an accusation, I will do so. If not, I simply ask Yah to bring the truth to light. I cannot afford to divert my mental energies away from worthwhile projects to chase feathers that have been loosed to he wind. Yah is my vindicator and He will do a much better job than I every could do in seeing that justice is done.
The author meditates on this: With Yah’s help, today I will tune my ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding. I will cry out for insight and understanding. I will search for them as I would for lost money or hidden treasure.
Day Twenty-Six: The Discouraging Tongue: When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them. Iyob 29:24 NLT
Have you ever dampened someone’s hope, confidence or enthusiasm by raising objections to his proposed action? An untold number of individuals have missed their (path) because of someone’s discouraging words. Teachers have dashed the dreams of students who had mediocre grades or other shortcomings. Would-be inventors abandoned their pursuit of innovative ideas once family members and society ridiculed them. I do not believe that people who have dissuaded others in such a manner deliberately intended to discourage them but rather spoke out of their own lack of faith in Yah’s ability to “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV).
The author continued: Discouragement has wrecked havoc for ages. Consider the Israylites and their quest for the Promised Land. Right at the brink of reaching their destination, Moshe sent Yahoshua (Joshua) and Caleb along with ten other leaders on a 40-day exploration of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey. There they saw everything in extreme abundance. The size of the fruit surpassed anything you would ever see at the county fair. Why, it took two men to carry a cluster of grapes! They also noted something else unusual, giant-sized men. When they reported back to Moshe and the multitude, Yahoshua and Caleb encouraged the Israylites to proceed to conquer the land. Their cohorts, however, had a different perspective.
The other men who had explored the land with him answered, “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are! So they spread discouraging reports about the land among the Israylites: “The land we explored will swallow up any who go to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. We felt like grasshoppers next to them and that’s what we looked like to them!” (Numbers 13:31-33 NLT).
Despite all the miracles that they had witnessed Yah perform on their behalf, the multitude believed the discouraging report. They talked of returning to Egypt and even wanted to stone Yahoshua and Caleb for their optimism. Yah’s punishment for their unbelief was swift and severe.
Then the ten scouts who had incited the rebellion against the Most High by spreading discouraging reports about he land were struck with a plague before the Almighty. Of the twelve who had explored the land, only Yahoshua and Caleb remained alive (Numbers 14:36-38 NLT).
Not only did the Most High kill the discouragers, He forced the entire multitude to turn back and to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Further, Yah forbade all of those, except Caleb and Yahoshua, who were more than 20 years of age at that time to enter the Promised Land. They all died in the wilderness. The discouraging words of ten men caused thousands of men and women to miss their inheritance. If only the ten had chosen to be encouragers instead!
(Me: This makes me think of Colossians 3:21 once again, don’t provoke your children to anger so that they become discouraged. Also see Ephesians 6:4 NLT, Fathers, don’t provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from Yah. Yah is serious, y’all, about not discouraging other people. Hold your tongue against the discouraging spirit).
What about you? When you see others faced with negative circumstances, do you lose hope in their ability to succeed? Further, can you listen to someone’s dreams and plans without making disheartening remarks? This is not to say that you should not question the viability of an idea that seems to have no merit nor fail to offer objective input to warn against potential failure. However, a well-phrased question can be much more effective than a straight out “That’s impossible!” For example, asking a young entrepreneur, “How did you determine the market for your product?” sounds better than, “Gee, I don’t think many people would be interested in that!”
Even if you cannot envision the dreams of another, at least agree to stand in faith with him for Yah’s perfect will to be done regarding the proposed endeavor. Henry Ford once said that the ability to encourage others is one of life’s biggest assets. Think of the people who have encouraged you during your lifetime and what a positive effect their words had on you. In a world plagued with negativity, everyone needs a little encouragement from time to time. Make a conscious effort to always speak sincere words of affirmation, support and inspiration to those within your circle of concern.
Finally the author says, if, perchance, you are confronted by a discourager, do not let him or her derail your (path). Very graciously let him know your eyes are fixed on Yah, who specializes in doing the impossible! Better yet, be highly selective of those with whom you share your dreams. Their lack of initiative and faith and even their envy, may very well cause you to abort your plans. (Me: We use to call these people “dream-killers.”)
The author meditates on these words: Worry weighs a person down but my encouraging words will cheer him up.
Day Twenty-Seven: The Doubting Tongue: For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Mark 11:23 NKJV
The author talks about when she has fear, she recites portions of the following scripture to herself: “This I declare of Yah: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety. He is my Power and I am trusting Him (v.2)…Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night nor fear the dangers of the day (v. 5)…Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you (v.7)…For He orders his angels to protect you wherever you go (v. 11)” (NLT).
…The promises of Psalm 91, as always, proved to be my salvation. Over the years they had become the corner I ran to in fearful situations. As I heard myself repeating these verses, my apprehensions began to subside. I made a conscious decision to relax and to leave the flying to Yah…Each time I declared, “His angels have orders to keep this plane safe.” I arrived at my destination without incident. I had triumphed over doubt.
If we ever hope to tame a doubting tongue, we must become familiar with the promises of Yah. Words of doubt come out of an unbelieving heart. Of course, merely knowing the promises of Yah is not enough; We must become proficient at declaring them. Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). The more we declare our unbelief, the more reinforced it becomes. The more we assert our confidence in a positive outcome, the more our faith increases. Because we will believe what we constantly hear, we must take personal responsibility for what we hear. We may have to limit or eliminate our contact with individuals who tend to express negativity about various outcomes, goals, or results we desire. (Me: The devil constantly or repeatedly tells lies, so that man will believe it eventually. He stays in the ear giving doubt like he did to Eve).
Often our words of doubt originate out of our tendency to act in self-confidence. Self-confidence is a concept touted by the world that tells us we must rely on our own skills and abilities. This is a direct contradiction to King Solomon’s warning, “He who trusts in himself is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26). When we face a challenge and quickly assess our own ability to conquer it, we will most like come up short…and doubting. We must be on guard not to give our doubts substance by declaring them.
If the spirit of unbelief plagues you, I challenge you to get a good study bible and to search the scriptures for verses relating to your areas of concern. Write down a passage, meditate on it often and memorize it. I keep a template on my computer for typing scriptures to fit a 5×7 picture frame. I will select a passage that is relevant to a current problem. I cut it out, frame it and keep it before me on my desk until I solidify it in my heart. When doubt arise, I nail them with the selected word of Yah. This sounds simple but is not easy. Some doubts die hard (Me: In other words, the devil will come back to you). We must be persistent in declaring our (win).
What are some things you find yourself speaking about in a doubtful way? Is it the fear of pursuing a career or task for which you feel inadequate? The hopelessness of forging an amicable relationship with a difficult person? The seemingly impossible task of getting into shape? Perhaps you have resorted to being a Doubting Thomas who would only believe what he could touch (See Yahanan/ John 20:25).
Yah’s children are to live by faith…in Yah. We cannot afford to get stymied in the “sense realm” of what we can see and feel. Our doubts can deter our (straight path). Our attitudes and conversations will change when we face the reality that apart from Yah we can do absolutely nothing. Decide today to skip the skepticism, doubt the doubts and believe the best!
The author’s meditation: Anything is possible for me if I believe. Therefore, I will declare my faith rather than discuss my doubts.
Here I have inserted a post that I did awhile ago called: Is Anything impossible for Yah?
Recently, I have heard a couple of people quoting this scripture. Nothing is impossible for Yah is one of my favorite scriptures to recite to myself. It’s a scripture about having faith. So far I have found 12 to 14 in this category. You probably know most or all of these but I just wanted to share this with you.
Genesis 18:14 The angel asked, is anything too hard for Yah? Or Is anything impossible for Yah? Sarah had doubt.
Numbers 11:23 Yah said to Moses, has Yah’s arm been shortened? Now you will see whether what I say will happen to you or not.
Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to Yah. Trust in Him and He shall bring it to pass.
Yeremiyah 32:17 Ah, Master Yah! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. (There is nothing impossible for You).
Yeremiyah 32:27 Behold, I am Yah, the Power of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? (Is there anything impossible for Me? asks Yah).
Mattithyah 17:20 So Yahoshua said to them, because of your unbelief for truly I say to you if you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain move from here to there and it will move AND NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU.
Mattithyah 19:26 But Yahoshua looked at them and said to them, with men this is impossible but with Yah all things are possible.
Mattithyah 21:22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing you will receive. (similar to Yahcanan 14:14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it).
Luke 1:37 The angel Gabriyah tells Miriam, for with Yah nothing will be impossible.
Luke 18:27 and Mark 10:27 The things which are impossible with men are possible with Yah.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Messiyah who strengthens me. HalleluYah.
Day Twenty-Eight: The Loquacious Tongue: When words are many, sin is not absent but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19
Me: When I first bought this book and was thumbing through the chapters. I stopped on this chapter because I did not know what loquacious meant. My niece did not either and we laughed. I had her to goggle for me. Loquacious means talkative. Fancy. Do y’all remember back in the 80s when hip-hop use to tell a story? Hip-Hop use to teach us. Run-DMC made a song called you talk too much…homeboy you never shut up! The Hip-Hop group called Whodini made a song called big mouth…mouth almighty/tongue everlasting. Even LL Cool J made a song about the tongue. The song was on his first album, Radio and it was called that’s a lie. He rapped, “you lied about the lies that you lied about…your a liar…giant jabba jaws. Even R&B in the late 80s was singing about talking too much. Do y’all remember that song called rumors? The song was by the Timex Social Club. He began the song by saying, ‘how do rumors get started? They started by jealous people. Then the people who the singer was mad with ‘clapped back’ with a song called jealousy (Club Nouveau). The song said, “They started with spreading rumors now I have to tell the facts…jealousy I don’t want that bad talk around me…jealous folx cause trouble yapping all the time…
A trip down memory lane, okay let’s get back to the book: The author asked a question: Have you ever talked to someone who seemed to have diarrhea of the mouth? On and on she goes, from one topic to another. Well, know from henceforth that the proper word for this malady is “loquaciousness.” It’s just a big word for a “motor mouth.” While it is generally concluded that females have cornered the market on this use of the tongue, men can be guilty too.
…When I am in the presence of an incessant talker, I often wonder if that person is lonely, has few opportunities to talk to others or just plain loves the sound of her voice. Whatever the motivation, excessive talking tends not to esteem Yah. I heard someone say that any conversation that lasts more than ten minutes will usually end up on the wrong path. (Me: Meaning they will start lying just like grandma said). The apostle Shaul (Paul) admonished the Thessalonians to “study to be quiet” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 KJV). To “study” implies a striving or intense effort. It will take some work to overcome this entrenched habit.
The author continued: If in the midst of your conversations you find yourself veering down the path of loquaciousness, try these quick detours:
- Simply stop talking and ask the other person an open-ended question that would cause him to respond with more than a simple yes or no. For example, “John, what do you think about…?”
- Make the talking count. My mentor would say, “I am not a woman of few words but I love to talk about the things of Yah.” Share an interesting news story you’ve heard or an insight Yah has given you on a scripture. For example, rather than succumbing to a negative conversation, I keep telling everyone about my “tongue fast” and the truths Yah has revealed from His word during my search of the scriptures. They listen with great interest and benefit.
The author meditates on these words: When my words are many, sin is not absent but when I hold my tongue, I am considered wise.
Me: Did y’all know that in Asian culture, quiet people are considered smart. I had an Asian professor in undergrad. He called me ‘quiet lady.’ The first time he called on me, I knew the answer. However, from then on I always had to know the lesson frontward, backward and cold because I knew he was going to call on me and he did…
Day Twenty-Nine: The Indiscreet Tongue: Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:11
After the great flood that destroyed most of the earth, Noah planted a vineyard. One day he got carried away and drank too much wine. His son Ham discovered him in his tent, drunk. Scripture tells us that Ham “saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside” (Genesis 9:22). (Me: The Israylites have said that it was not Noah that Ham saw naked, it was Noah’s wife that Ham saw naked which is a sin)…Ham’s brother’s covered Noah’s nakedness with a garment, backward so they did not see her naked. Their discretion was a sign of their maturity. One who is discreet shows prudence and wise self-restraint in speech and behavior and always reaps a positive consequence.
Indiscretion can be costly. Some subject matters should simply be off limits for discussion. You would be wise to never discuss your salary and bonus, especially with other company personnel. Your sex life should also be off limits as an item of discussion with a non-counseling outsider.
Ham’s indiscretion proved costly. When Noah sobered up, he realized his shame and was sorely displeased with the manner in which Ham had handled the situation.
Have you ever found out something about a leader or other prominent person and could not refrain from telling someone? If Yah has trusted you enough to reveal someone’s nakedness or sin, have you ever considered that you were not to “see” and “tell” but rather to cover that nakedness with discretion and intercession? (Me: Yah revealed David’s sin to Nathan and Nathan went straight to David with it. No one else).
…Whatever Yah mandates, do it His way. A public revelation is not always necessary as it can cause irreparable damage to the body of Messiyah. David’s sin with Bathshua never became the topic of a public scandal. However, David suffered the consequences through his family and other areas of his life. A leader’s punishment is Yah’s business.
The author cautions leaders not to show the nakedness of those that are in their authority because the Most High may do the same to you, if you sin.
Me: Did y’all know that Shem and Japheth were discreet? They did not tell on Cham. The scriptures say that when Noah awoke from sleep he already knew what Cham had done…because Yah told him!
The author meditates on this: My discretion will protect me and understanding will guard me.
Day Thirty: The Silent Tongue: There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:1,7
The author begins the chapter by telling a story of unrighteous silence: I heard a story about a husband and wife who were feuding and giving each other the silent treatment. One night he realized he needed her to wake him up at an early hour to catch a flight. Not wanting to humble himself and be the first to break the silence, he left her a note to wake him at 5 a.m. The next morning he awakened to find out that he had overslept by a couple of hours and had missed his flight. As he leaped out of bed to go and angrily confront her, he noticed a piece of paper on his nightstand. The note read, “It is 5 a.m. Wake up!”
Not all silence is golden. I have devoted the previous chapters to encourage you to abstain from various negative uses of the tongue. By now you may have concluded you will never be able to say more than a few words for the rest of your life if you are to tame the little unruly member that sets the course of your path. If you have decided a vow of silence is your only hope, read on.
Talking is absolutely essential to maintaining effective relationships….The complete saying is, “Speech is silver, silence is golden.” While keeping one’s mouth shut is a great virtue, effective communication is to a relationship what oxygen is to the body. To say “speech is silver” implies that speaking has significant value…When we talk, it should be an exchange of valuable information. All the previous chapters of this book have highlighted various types of negative communications that provided no value. Let’s now focus on those instances in which silence has no value.
Silence is not golden when one uses it as a passive retaliatory means of expressing his or her anger or displeasure with a situation. In fact, such silence is a direct violation of our Master’s command to confront those who offend us.
Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou has gained thy brother (Mattithyah 18:15 KJV).
Yahoshua is recommending pretty assertive behavior in (teaching us Yah’s commandment) to take the initiative in addressing an offense or a trespass. Trespassing is an unauthorized crossing of a boundary. Many times we may feel we have been trespassed or wronged but rather than discussing the issue with the offender, we resort to sulking and pouting. Women are especially prone to keeping silent as most have been socialized to think it is unladylike to be so direct as to say, “I was offended by your actions. Please don’t do that again.” Unfortunately, this lack of communication leaves many offenders totally unaware that their behavior has negatively affected us. Thus, they are more likely to repeat the offense.
Silence is not golden when we refuse to defend someone against unwarranted criticism or vicious rumors (and gossip). We cannot let our fear of alienation or rejection cause us to allow slander and character assassinations when we are well aware of facts to the contrary. The author gave an example of when she defended someone whom she could have ‘payed back’ but she knew the lady was innocent of the charges being made. The author felt that Yah was pleased with her afterward.
Silence is not golden when it results in us making an undesirable decision by default. Silence can indicate consent. Prayer was taken out of public schools in the United States because the majority kept quiet and did not protest. In the book of Numbers, Moshe reiterated that silence is indeed consent. He gave instructions on how to deal with single women who made vows:
When a young woman still living in her father’s house makes a vow to the Most High or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her vow or pledge but SAYS NOTHING to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her father FORBIDS her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. The Most High will release her because her father had forbidden her (Numbers 30:3-5).
He went on to instruct in verses 10-15 that the same rules applied to a married woman. He vow was to stand if her husband failed to protest it in a timely manner. His silence gave consent to her action.
A Japanese proverb states, “Silent worms dig holes in the walls.” To keep silent when one should be speaking is a sure way to dig holes in your relationships.
Today’s meditation: I will not keep silent when I should be speaking.
Me: Remember what Yah said about the watchman who does not speak to warn in Ezekiyah 33:6.
Epilogue: The author realizes that this book may have taken you less than 30 days to complete. However, you may have to spend more time on the lying chapter than the cursing chapter, says the author… You are now ready to turn your attention from the negative uses of the tongue and turn it into a wellspring of life. Since it is more effective to focus on implementing positive behavior than trying to avoid the negative, Appendix B offers alternative uses of the tongue that will bring esteem to Yah and improve your interactions and relationships with others. You are now free to engage in building others up, sharing knowledge and wisdom, exhorting, inspiring faith, confronting in love and giving life to your hearers. To reinforce your commitment to a wholesome tongue and to have power for more positive proclamations, regularly meditate on the scriptures in Appendix C, “Arsenal of Tongue Scriptures.” The selected passages will fortify your inner man (or woman) and revolutionize your conversations. Continue to decree that the words of your mouth have become acceptable in the sight of the Most High. Finally, act as if the words you speak will become your personal reality. They will!
Next in the epilogue the author shares a poem on words:
The Power of Words
A careless word may kindle strife; A cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instill; A brutal word may smite and kill.
A gracious word may smooth the way; A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lesson stress; A loving word may heal and bless.
*Me: Let me show you what the Most High says about our speech. Remember y’all Yah is serious about the way we talk. I’m showing you here why Yah is serious about it.
Speech, Wisdom and Man’s Distinction, from the Pseudepigrapha vol. 2, page 578, Book of Phocylides
122 Do not become mad in your mind by reveling in boastfulness. 123 Practice speaking the right word, which will greatly benefit all. 124 Speech is to man a weapon sharper than iron. 125 Yah allotted a weapon to every creature; 126 the capacity to fly to birds, speed to horses and strength to the lions. 127 He clothed the bulls with their self-growing horns. He gave stings to the bees 128 as their natural means of defense but speech to man as his protection. 129 But speech of the (righteously) inspired wisdom is best. 130 Better is a wise man than a strong one. 131 Wisdom directs the course of lands and cities and ships.
Appendix A: Daily Tongue Evaluation Checklist
To measure your progress in taming your tongue, ask yourself the following questions at the end of each day. On a separate sheet, note the number of YES’S.
__ Did I engage in any form of lying?
__ Did I flatter someone?
__ Did I manipulate someone for my gain or advantage?
__Did I speak too hastily?
__Did my words cause division?
__Was I argumentative or contentious?
__Did I boast or speak with pride?
__Did I engage in a self put-down?
__ Did I slander someone?
__ Did I gossip?
__ Did I meddle in anybody’s affairs?
__ Did I betray someone’s trust?
__ Did I belittle someone?
__ Was I cynical, scornful or sarcastic?
__ Did I speak as a Know-It-All?
__ Did I use harsh or abusive words?
__ Did I fail to speak with tack or diplomacy?
__ Did I attempt to intimidate with my words?
__ Was I rude?
__Was I critical or judgmental?
__Was I self-absorbed in my conversations?
__ Did I use profanity? Did I put a curse on anyone?
__ Did I retaliate?
__ Did I accuse someone?
__ Was I discouraging?
__Did I express doubt and unbelief?
__ Did I simply talk too much?
__ Was I indiscreet in my discussions?
__ Did I keep silent when I should have communicated?
The author says, if you answered no to all of the questions above, rejoice but do not relax! Quietly ask the Set-apart Spirit to show you your next focus area of spiritual development. Know that you will reach perfection only when you get (into the kingdom).
Appendix B: Alternative uses of the Tongue
Having refrained from negative speaking, see how many positive ways you can engage your tongue in a single day. Use the list below for starters.
Pray. Share your faith. Express gratitude. Tell the truth. Admit a mistake. Apologize. Confess your faults or weakness. Applaud someone’s achievement. Ask for help. Offer to assist. Comfort someone who is hurting. Communicate your expectations. Give a sincere compliment. Confront an interpersonal conflict. Pledge your support. Defend someone against negative criticism. Discourage gossip. Express appreciation. Offer constructive feedback. Share your knowledge. Keep a secret. Protest evil. Put forth a new idea. Recite scriptures. Reconcile parties in conflict. Relate a meaningful story. Tell a clean joke. Express hope or optimism. Encourage someone to persevere. Express concern for another. Say “Please” (Me: and “thank you.”) Sing a song to Yah. Speak of Yah’s goodness. HalleluYah.
Appendix C: Arsenal of Tongue Sciptures
I will bless the Most High at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1 KJV
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6 KJV
My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding. Psalm 49:3
Do all things without complaining and disputing. Philippians 2:14 NKJV
Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. Proverbs 8:6-7
For there is not a word in my tongue but, lo O Yah, thou knowest it altogether. Psalm 139:4 KJV
Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honor all the day. Psalm 71:8 KJV
The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. Proverbs 10:11 KJV
The Most High Yah has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning. He awakens my ear to hear as the learned. Isaiah 50:4 NKJV
I said, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me.” Psalm 39:1 NKJV
Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11 NASB
You will also declare a thing and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways. Iyob 22:28 NKJV
My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long. Psalm 35:28
*The other day, I was thinking about two other tongues that we must work on. The worrying tongue, which could also go under doubting tongue because if you’re worrying over something, that means that you doubt Yah. Also, there is the angry tongue. The Israylites did an excellent lesson on anger and they even explained the difference between righteous and unrighteous anger. The lesson was called “know your enemy: the spirits of satan: anger, fear and hatred.” https://blessedwomanofyah.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/know-your-enemyt…r-and-hatred-p-1/
*I did a little more research. The author appears to be a Hebrew woman (by blood) although I do not know, if she knows that she is an Israylite. She does have other books, if you want to purchase them. The book I reviewed is her first book and seems to be her most popular according to Amazon reviews. Her books include:
- 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety
- 30 Days to Taming Stress
- 30 Days to Taming your Tongue Workbook
- 30 Days to Taming your Anger
- 30 Days to Taming Your Kids Tongues
- 30 Days to Taming Your Fears
- 30 Days to Taming Your Emotions
At this time, I have no further plans on reviewing any more of her books.