Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Friday, January 24

“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

Taming the Tongue

Profanity is common in every sport. When directed at an official, a penalty or technical foul ensues. Every coach wants their team to play with emotion and passion, but even coaches have been known to get ejected from the game.

According to the Bible, we all have a problem with our tongue. We can tame lions and tigers but our tongue is the hardest thing to control. One minute you are talking to God and within seconds you can curse out a person who cuts you off on the freeway. From the same mouth comes both blessing and cursing. It’s part of the spiritual battle. For the Christian, it is a constant struggle. The tongue is a very small part of the body, but it can lead our whole body to destruction.

The taming of the tongue is one of the hardest disciplines to achieve, and it’s impossible apart from Christ. A Godly vocabulary does not mean we cannot show emotion, but those emotions must not control our words. If a referee makes a bad call, we can disagree, but never with profanity-laced superlatives. Just because a few choice words are directed toward you by your opponent does not give you the license to respond back with ungodly verbiage.

It will not be easy but we have a perfect example from our Lord Jesus Christ, who “did not retaliate when He was insulted, nor threaten revenge when He suffered.”

— Sam Johnson, San Antonio Spurs chaplain

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