Mom, why can’t people fly?” my daughter asked me one day.
Never one to shy away from attempting to answer the unanswerable, I ventured a guess, pointing out that God had already granted human beings incredible powers. Flying, I explained, would give us an enormous, unfair advantage. It wouldn’t be fair, for instance, if hunters were able to pull alongside a flock of ducks and then pick them off one by one. And who would want to live in a world where burglars or Peeping Toms could fly, to say nothing of kids intent on toilet papering your house? The truth is, we have enough trouble managing the powers we do have.
Take the power of our tongues. Scripture tells us that our words have incredible power. It goes so far as to say that the power of life and death is in our tongues. We can use them to bless or to curse, to encourage or to demoralize. Who hasn’t regretted spitting out angry words that are impossible to retract? How can we bring our tongues under greater control so they will add to the peace of our world rather than detract from it?
The key to controlling our mouths, of course, lies in the way we control our minds. Remember how Paul advised the believers in Rome, saying, “Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (Romans 8:6)? Paul is saying that controlling our minds is not primarily a matter of willpower but of Spirit power. Today, as you seek to control the power of your tongue, ask God to inhabit your thought life through the transformative power of his Spirit.