Much to Be Done – by Molly Dutina
How many times a week do you say something you regret? When my children were younger there were many times. It was so hard not to blurt out my negative words that I even created a saying: “I will die without a tongue. I will bite it off before I die!” Studying the Bible I learned that there was much to be done about the tongue. Not just the challenge of young mothers, but all humans!
James 3:7-11 speaks of so many animals being tamed by mankind, “but no human being can tame the tongue.” NIV James goes on to say “it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Barclay tells us that no man by his own unaided efforts has ever been able to tame the tongue.
So what to do? What to do? In Romans 7 Paul asks “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Reading these passages, I began to ask the Lord how I could be delivered from my untamable tongue. Mind you, I still have not conquered it totally, but the Holy Spirit helped me find an image to remind me and a way to make progress.
Jesus is called the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall. (ISA 8:14, ROM 9:33, 1PET 2 8: 4-10) In Luke 20:18 we read “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken in pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” If I mean to tame this tongue, I must offer it to Jesus. Better that He break it in pieces than I die having missed the point of redemption by using my tongue in unrighteous ways. I can fall upon His mercy and find help.
In Scripture, stone is often used to make altars. Altars are places where divine and human interchanges are consummated. The photo is from an Altar in a church ruin in Ireland, what to me was a sacred place. How could I possibly get my tongue to remain on an altar, sacrificed to Jesus?
The Holy Spirit gives us full armor for battle. Ephesians 6:17 refers to the Sword of the Spirit as the Word of God and Hebrews 4:12-13 elaborates upon that sword stating “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” God not only sees everything, He hears, too! Gradually I began to get the idea. Then while out to lunch one day, my sandwich arrived speared through with a plastic sword. Divine inspiration set in.
So I found a stone that reminded me of an altar. I found some clay that reminded me of my tongue. I made marks in the clay to look like taste buds. I put the clay tongue (representing my own tongue) on the rock and prayerfully pierced it through with the sword.
I placed in it my kitchen window sill. Each time I am tempted to let loose with a torrent of words I would never speak to God, I see that tongue, and pray for help in controlling it. I surrendered my tongue, willing to let Christ, my Stone, break it to pieces and reassemble it for His use. I studied the Word seeking more references to help me remember things such as 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” The price was the Blood of Jesus Christ.
A lifetime work this one has been.
Molly Dutina and her husband, Bob, call The Crossing home. She is a writer and a member of a number of teams at The Crossing including The Crossing Blog Team.