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"tongue tamers ... For the Ladies"



To read a host of Bible Study Articles by Sister Norma, just visit THE LADIES' PAGE now.

And you may even "click" the "LADIES' PAGE ARCHIVES" for more articles!

Sister Bagwell has also written a series on First Corinthians 13, the Bible's great "love" chapter.


TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 2006:

Ladies, the Lessons in this series, just over a dozen of them, are posted here in reverse order. The newer ones are nearer the top of the Page, while the older ones are of course at the bottom.

In our final talk about the tongue ... I'd like to mention the "godly" tongue!

One that has already been "tamed" by the Holy Spirit of God!

One that obeys the clear admonition of Psalm 34:13. "Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile."

One that seeks to follow Psalm 35:28. "And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long."

And speaking of a "tamed" tongue, listen to David's word picture. "I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me." Psalm 39:1


A tongue that thinks before it speaks!  "My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue." Psalm 39:3

One that is eager to talk of the Lord! "My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer." Psalm 45:1

A singing tongue ...singing of the Lord's greatness! "Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness." Psalm 51:14

One that uplifts God! "I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue." Psalm 66:17

A consistent tongue, not angry one moment and peaceful the next! Not pouring forth holiness on Tuesday and garbage on Friday! "My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt." Psalm 71:24

A tongue that talks God's Word! "My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness." Psalm 119:172

A tongue that is conscious of God's all-seeing eye and all-hearing ear! Read with me these words from Psalm 139:4. "For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether."

And, ladies, especially for us, a kind tongue! "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26

I pray this series of Bible Studies prove helpful to you in your Christian walk!

                                                                                   --- Norma Bagwell




Ladies, I'll just call it the "indiscreet" tongue.

It says the wrong things at the wrong time!

It often speaks when it should not, and is silent when it should be talking!

"Discreet" is an adjective that's derived from the verb "to discern." Something that's "indiscreet" can not discern as it should!

To "discern" in Latin means "to sift" ("cernere") "away" ("dis") certain unwanted things!

God's wisdom will give us discretion, therefore ... discreet tongues!

"When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee" says Proverbs 2:11.

Paul the Apostle mentions some who lack discernment in their speech.

Incidentally, they are ladies too! "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not." 1st Timothy 5:13

See that?

"Speaking things which they ought not!"

That's indiscretion!

What's the solution?

Asking the dear Lord to teach us what to say ... and when to say it!

Simply stated, pray this prayer.  It's not mine! I "borrowed" it from David the man after God's Own Heart!

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

Then Jesus Himself testified how He controlled His words. He did so through the miracle of Bible prophecy. Notice the phrase: "that I should know how to speak!"

Isaiah 50:4 declares for Jesus: "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."

With David and Jesus as our Instructors ... and the Holy Spirit indwelling us ... discretion should be forthcoming!


                                                                            --- Norma Bagwell




Some of us complain!

We complain too much!

To complain suggests we are not satisfied.

To complain about the weather means that we don't feel God did a very good job ordering the sunshine or rain or wind or whatever!

To complain about our car or truck must mean that we don't feel the Lord has properly provided for our needs! Otherwise He surely would have given us something better to drive!

In fact, to complain about nearly anything is to disobey Paul's command in Philippians 2:14 where he wrote: "Do all things without murmurings ...."

That's an amazing injunction!

Even on the Cross, Jesus did not complain!

Our dear Saviour, either on the Cross or shortly thereafter, spoke these words: "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." Psalm 16:6

Notice, not one word of complaint or bitterness!

Let's examine the nine-fold fruit of the Holy Spirit. Maybe somewhere in this cluster of spiritual grace we will see complaining. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance ...." Galatians 5:22-23

Nothing there that remotely resembles complaining!

I conclude that the Holy Spirit is not the Author of our dissatisfaction and unhappiness!

Then, where does that complaining tongue get its motivation?

From the devil!

He was not happy in Heaven!

He is not happy on earth!

He certainly will not be happy in Hell!

He's sure got a lot of complaining to do! I mean yet in the future!

Are we going to join him and grumble?

Or follow Jesus and delight in whatever God brings our way?

The decision is a vital one!

Again, ""Do all things without murmurings and disputings."

That's a lesson I suspect we all need to learn!

Ladies, let's "tame" our complaining tongues ... with the Lord's help of course!

                                                                                        --- Norma Bagwell




Some people perhaps just can't help it!

They always say the most discouraging things!

They are pessimists by nature.

I'm pretty sure Thomas, the Disciple of Jesus, was often that way.

I believe the Bible discourages such thinking ... and talking.

See if you see anything discouraging here: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8


But there's plenty of bright and cheerful thinking suggested ... in just this one verse!

I realize that God has "gifted" some folks with the ability to uplift and motivate and encourage others. Thank God for them!

But we ALL are to "Let our speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that we may know how we ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6

Jesus surely knew how to encourage!

He lived by such verses as Joshua 1:9. "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

Be not dismayed!

In other words, don't be discouraged!

But my favorite verse along this line is found in Isaiah chapter fifty. It is prophetically talking about Jesus. Our Saviour says of His Father: "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." Isaiah 50:4

Jesus knew how to speak a word in season to them who were weary!

And Who, better than He, could do that?

After all, He was never once discouraged!

It is written of Him: "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law." Isaiah 42:4

Praise the Lord!

By the way, is someone today discouraged?

Do what David did!

Get alone with the Lord!

He will help you!

"And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." 1st Samuel 30:6

Today, ladies, say some encouraging things to those around you!

You will be obeying Hebrews 13:3, which commands us: "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."


                                                                                      --- Norma Bagwell



TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2006:

Proverbs 6:19 lists the person who "soweth discord among his brethren" as a particularly wicked person in God's eyes.

That man or woman has a "divisive" tongue.

Proverbs continues with this information: "A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends." Proverbs 16:28

That tongue, the "whispering" one, separates long-time friends!

Ladies, do not repeat any information (gossip really) that could plant distrust and doubt between the people you know and love.

Instead of tearing friends apart, we should be "peacemakers." As you well know, Jesus said: "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9

Sometimes it may just be best to leave some things unsaid.

The devil knows that strife and division grieve and hinder the powerful work of God the Holy Spirit.

That's why he, Satan, loves to be "the accuser of the brethren!"  In so doing he can disrupt the harmony God wants to exist in the His Church.

Do not tell Sister "A" what Sister "B" said about her!  Sister "A" may not have meant it anyway! In a few day they just may be "friends" again and their little "rift" healed! You just stay out of it!

Do not "whisper" bits of slander between two Sisters in Christ.

Lord, spare us from divisive contentious tongues!

May we instead do what Paul suggests in Hebrews 10:25. "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works."

If we do that, speak words that promote love and good works, it will be impossible to speak words that tear asunder!


                                                                                --- Norma Bagwell




Our parents used to call them "know-it-alls!" People who thought they had all the answers ... and needed to express them too!

Yet Proverbs 12:23 tells us: "A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness."

Ladies, we do not have to tell everyone we meet everything we know!

At least, not all at once!

Too much talk ... equals too much sin!  The Bible says so! The more one talks ... the more she will sin!  "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise." Proverbs 10:19

Don't act like you have all the answers! "Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly." Proverbs 13:16

Maybe Proverbs 15:2 will help us here. "The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness."

Solomon observerd: "The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?" Ecclesiastes 10:12-14

Here's a good one too.  "Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known." (Proverbs 14:33) I can just hear Sister Blabbermouth now!  Sharing all her self proclaimed "wisdom!"

And maybe the best verse for those of us who think we are so smart: "A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards." Proverbs 29:11

Truthfully, ladies, we know little.

God knows all!

And any real knowledge we do possess, He gave it to us!

Away with that old devilish attitude of pride and vanity!

Three times Peter said this. They are among his wisest words ever. "Yea, Lord, Thou knowest!" John 21:15 and 16 and 17

Don't be a "know-it-all!"

                                                                                   --- Norma Bagwell




Paul called them "busybodies."

"For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." 2nd Thessalonians 3:11

While this word is masculine in gender, it surely can describe ladies too!

The verb is spelled "periergazomai" and fuses "peri," a preposition meaning "around" ... and a verb "ergazomai," meaning "to work or labor!" 

"Working all around" other people's business!

These folks are always delving into other people's affairs, talking incessantly as they do so!

Their favorites words are: "Have you heard the latest?"

Sister Jones ________________________________!

No need to fill in the blanks! No information is too private!

I just didn't make the line as long as it should have been!


Here is a classic description of one: "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears." Proverbs 26:17 

If a person continues to grab dogs' ears ... one of these days he or she will get the wrong dog! A mean one! One that bites!  And blood will be shed, the busybody's blood!


If someone volunteers such, pray for the needs they have shared!

Otherwise, let's mind our own business!

Here's how the Holy Spirit led Paul to express it.  "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you." 1st Thessalonians 4:11

Yes, the busybody's tongue can be tamed too!

By the dear Lord Himself!

But, Sister Norma, what would I then talk about ... if not others?

Talk about the goodness of the Lord, His amazing Grace!

Remember, God is listening to every conversation!

"Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name." Malachi 3:16

                                                                                --- Norma Bagwell



SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2006:

The dangerous speech we want to discuss today flows from the flattering tongue!

Ladies, here is a good definition of flattery. Jude gives it without ever using the precise word. He's talking about some future false teacher whose ... "mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." Jude 16

To flatter is to say great and praiseworthy things about someone, things which you really don't mean, in order to gain their favor or acquire some gift or recognition from them!

According to Psalm 5:9, here's the kind of person who generally flatters. "For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue."

The Hebrew verb "flatter" here ("chalaq") means to plunder or divide or apportion! To take the "spoils" of battle!

This does not sound like friendship, but warfare!

Maybe that's why Proverbs 26:28 teaches us: "A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin." 

Flattery, this insincere form of praise, is lying!  And it's foundation is based upon hatred, not affection!  And it will lead to ruin! The word "ruin" means the state of stumbling or falling!

Now, do understand, this is different from genuine encouragement and praise ... words that uplift somebody spiritually.

Next, immoral women are good at flattery too!  Prostitutes and the like!  "To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words." (Proverbs 2:16 and 7:5)  Here's one of her main weapons: "With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him." Proverbs 7:21

Here's the Bible's advice about flatterers: "He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips." (Proverbs 20:19)  Get away from her!

And flattery can build pride in a woman's heart ... or a man's!  It is spiritually dangerous!  "A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet." Proverbs 29:5

The flatterer will soon be discovered and disliked too!  "He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue." Proverbs 28:23

According to Daniel 11 (3 times) the Anti-christ will be a skilled flatterer also!

And, eventually, the Lord will deal with the sin of flattery!  "The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things. Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?" Psalm 12:3-4

Also let me mention that the godly Apostle Paul absolutely refused to use falttery! "For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness, nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others." 1st Thessalonians 2:5-6

Ladies, when you need to say something good to someone, say it!

Truthfully, honestly and accurately!

But if you have to exaggerate and stretch the truth and nearly flatter that individual, back off!

Don't do it!

You will hurt them spiritually!

And you might even yourself pick up a bad habit!

It is possible to even flatter yourself!  Look: "For he flattereth himself in his own eyes" Psalm 36:2

Be careful!

Tame any flattering tendencies you tongue might have developed!


                                                                             --- Norma Bagwell




Ladies, today I want us to consider the "soft" tongue. That's the way the King James Bible describes it. Twice, in fact ... Proverbs 15:1 and 25:15.

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

"By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone."

The adjective used for "soft" is masculine in gender!  I guess the men need this lesson too!

It ("rak" in Hebrew, according to Strong's Concordance) means "tender" or "gentle." And at times it can mean "weak!"

I believe what we are being told here is that with a wise lady, her tongue will NOT be the strongest part of her constitution.

Have you ever heard of a person being described as a "big mouth?"

Just that, a "big mouth!"

Obviously he or she also had ears and eyes and a nose ... but their overbearing mouth grabbed all the attention!

That kind of mouth is the very opposite to this "soft tongue" concept!

A soft, submissive, quiet, tender tongue allows its owner's spirit and mind and heart to control its utterances!

And such a controlled tongue ... will turn away wrath!

It will ... persuade people of many things, even in difficult circumstances ... "breaking someone's bones!"

However ... the area where a "soft" tongue needs to be "tamed" concerns its being too "soft!" Too "quiet!"  Too "acquiescent!"

There are some times when we need to stand up and say something!

When Scriptural truth is being questioned, for example!

Or when the Pastor is being defamed!

Or when worldliness is being accepted!

Have a "soft" tongue ... most of the time!

But ... be a compromiser never!

The Perfect Example of this discerning Wisdom is Jesus! He said through the Prophet Isaiah, "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning ...." Isaiah 50:4

Jesus received of His Father, each morning while on earth ... wisdom about "how to speak" that day!

Surely we should do the same!

                                                                                        --- Norma Bagwell



MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2006:

Today let's talk about the slandering tongue!

"He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool." Proverbs 10:18

This verse associates slander ... with hatred!

Maybe we only slander those whom we strongly dislike!  That also means that anyone presently slandering you ... just may hate you also!

Now slander is a strange thing.

It not only means saying something untrue about someone or just spreading a rumor!

Slander can actually involve telling the truth about a person, but with the desire to hurt them!

And Psalm 31:13 suggests that many are guilty!  "For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side."

In the New Testament ... a Deacon's wife cannot be a slanderer!  Such action would disqualify her husband from serving the Lord, at least as a Deacon!  "Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things." 1st Timothy 3:11

In Psalm 101 David tells us some people he will not tolerate!  Included is the man who "privily slandereth his neighbour.!" Psalm 15:5

The great Apostle Paul was a victim of slander too! "As we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say ...." (Romans 3:8) His words were being "twisted!"

In the wicked days of Jeremiah slander was common too.  "They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters." Jeremiah 6:28

And ... "Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders." Jeremiah 9:4

Then we noticed this recently.

The New Testament word for "slander" is spelled "diabolos." That is the very word for the "devil" also!

Let me tell you what it means.  "Dia" means "through" something, all the way "through" it!  And "ballo" means "to throw" something!  To "slander" someone is to take an accusation or a lie or a truth that's slanted to destroy ... and to throw it at a person ... to throw it all the way through him or her ... to try to destroy her reputation and testimony!

Ladies, do not be guilty of this sin!

Avoid it!

If not, you are guilty of acting just like the devil! 

Don't be foolish! 

Remember ... "He (or she) that uttereth a slander, is a fool."

So says the Word of God.

                                                                              --- Norma Bagwell




Ladies, today let's talk about the argumentative tongue!

Such a subject should interest each of us.

Arguing, whether with our husbands or children or anyone else, is just not the wise course to follow.

In fact, Scripture reminds us that ... "It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling." Proverbs 20:3

The expression "cease from strife" employs the root word for "sabbath!"  Take a "rest" ... from arguments and contentions!

For a "word picture" that illustrates the danger of quarreling, read Proverbs 17:14.  "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with." 

Once a stream of water breaks through a dam or a wall or a levy ... it's only a matter of time until a rupture will occur!

Strife will do the same thing!

While speaking in a different context, Jesus still taught us:  "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him." Matthew 5:25

Or as Paul put it:  "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Ephesians 4:26

Apparently even in the Church at Philippi, one of Paul's best ministries, two ladies were arguing! The Apostle wrote: "Do all things without murmurings and disputings." Philippians 2:14

Now, nobody is perfect in this area!

Even Paul and Barnabas had a problem or two!  "And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus." Acts 15:39

The "tongue" wants to assert itself!

To always be right!

But instead of arguing ... maybe we had best try to ... "be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

Probably today, or at least by tomorrow, each of us will have the opportunity to practice these Scriptures!

To not argue!

What will we do?

Let's pray ... asking the Lord for help, for deliverance from an argumentative tongue!

                                                                              --- Norma Bagwell



MONDAY, MARCH 6, 2006:

Ladies, today I want to discuss with you a problem that is occasionally called "hastiness" of words.

We often speak too quickly!

"Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him." Proverbs 29:20

Sounds pretty serious, doesn't it?

My husband tells me that the word for "hasty" here is one that pictures a person under "pressure."  Someone who is being "squeezed" by the circumstances of life! And she finally with so much bearing down on her ... just "bursts" with verbal intensity!

Saying way too much!

Speaking unadvisedly with her lips! 

Moses did that once, with dire consequences.  See Psalm 106:33.

We need to be careful with our tongues!

Proverbs 18:13 warns us:  "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."

Answering too quickly ... hastiness of words!

Or Solomon, again dealing with our matter at hand:  "Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few." Ecclesiastes 5:2

Don't you here see the association between speaking too quickly and talking too much?

Even James, the New Testament Book of Wisdom says:  "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." James 1:19

Let's be careful!

We all need Bible help here, too!

Next time we are about to "explode" with words ... remember this prayer!

Pray it sincerely unto the Lord!

It will be used of the Holy Spirit in your life!


"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14


Let's try it, ladies.

                                                                              --- Norma Bagwell



FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 2006:

God used the term long before any of us ever thought about it.

"Tongue Tamers!"

James wrote ... "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." James 3:8

The verb "tame" is "damazo' and is only used in the Bible four times. 

James is responsible for 75% of those occurrences in two short verses.  Count them:  "For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."

The other time Mark, describing the Gadarene man who was demon possessed, said:  "Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him." Mark 5:4

"Lord, help us to be able to tame our tongues!  We realize that is only possible through the Power of Thy Holy Spirit!  May we yield ourselves to Him for that glorious purpose."

Now the perfect Example for us all to follow, of course, is Jesus.  Quoting Him years before the Virgin Birth, the Prophet Isaiah wrote:  "The Lord GOD hath given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth Mine Ear to hear as the learned."  Isaiah 50:4

That should be the prayer each of us lifts heavenward!

"Lord, give me a tongue that does not gossip or slander or idly chatter on and on! But a tongue that helps and encourages and uplifts others to better love and serve Thee! In Jesus' Name, Amen!"

May it be so in our lives!

                                                                                    --- Norma Bagwell







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