So many of the thoughts and feelings we have inwardly are expressed outwardly by our tongues. Our tongues are either doing good to others or corrupting others. How are you using your tongue?
But the tongue of the old man, it can just simply be light, trivial, frivolous, careless. Have you ever heard our Lord talk? You know what? He doesn't say that on judgment day you're going to be judged because of all the four-letter words that came out of your mouth. Isn't it amazing what He says? What are we going to be judged on? Every careless word. How careless... You know what's so characteristic of the old man? They just don't shut their mouths. They just talk all the time and it's careless. Their mouths just flow. One of the things we recognize when God takes hold of a man or a woman is they tend not to talk as much as they did before because they start thinking a whole lot more before they talk. You think of the corruption that can come out. Talking to certain people can be a total waste of time. Why? Because it seems like every time you talk to them it is careless, it's frivolous. (incomplete thought) You know what the thing about the tongue is is that every evil we can feel inside, every evil thought we can have inside has the ability to be expressed on the outside by the tongue. So we're able to express pride, boastful, selfish, worldly, God-dishonoring. And it doesn't matter that you're standing in a church building and you're talking to people that profess to be Christians. We can still whine to one another, complain, mumble, grumble. We're no better than the Hebrews out there in the wilderness. You can display that you don't trust the Lord. Yes, you can speak falsehood. You can exaggerate, gossip, slander. You can be devils. That's what the devil is. That's what slander is. The way you are a devil or most like the devil is right here. That's what the word means: slanderer. You can express bitterness, anger. People express their lack of ability to forgive. And it doesn't have to be: "I'm not going to forgive them." It's tones. It's expressions. It's insinuations that you just pick up in people's voices. We have ways of communicating the whole picture - the expression on our face, the tone at which we say it. We all know that. Think of the amount of self-pity that people express with their voices. The arrogance, the hardness of heart, lack of sympathy. People express doctrinal error, wrong views of God. They misapply Scripture. People use their mouths to glorify ungodly preachers or ungodly singers or ungodly supposedly Christian YouTubers. You can just show an indifference to what's important by how you speak. You can show people that you treasure something besides God by how you speak. You can blaspheme, curse, swear, express hatred, divisiveness, cruelty, lust, disrespect for authority, idolatry, greed, covetousness. Anything that's on the inside. And you know the thing about it is you imagine those little fiber-optic cords, and they're shooting out when you open your mouth. And they never leave the hearer unaffected. And Paul doesn't even give you a middle category. It's corrupt or it's good and it's grace-giving. And that's the way, because one is old man-ish ways. One is new man and there's no in-between. There's no neutral man. There's no in-between man. That person doesn't exist.