By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

Want to receive By Love Transformed by email? Sign up here

Not Perfect, but Still Improving

We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. —James 3:2

Enjoying a measure of success in controlling the tongue on occasion does not mean you are perfect! I can assure you that you have not "arrived"—even if you go three days without an unguarded comment—or that the problem of controlling the tongue is now behind you. Tongue control is only a temporary grace—given one day at a time, and hour by hour when you are having a good day.

Never being at fault in what one says, then, means perfection. James is obviously not expecting that of any Christian. So the tongue is something you must live with, work with, get victory over—little by little—every day. But one day at a time! It is terrific when you have a good day. It is very encouraging. But if you had a good day, I lovingly caution you: wait until tomorrow!

I know what it is sometimes to preach well, to come down from the pulpit with an inner confidence and say to myself, "Well, at last I have learned how to preach." But when I feel like that for very long, here is what happens—nearly every time: I do so poorly the next time I am in the pulpit that I leave saying, "If that is the best I can do, I should get out of the ministry." So if you have a good day with tongue control, thank God for it, but don't be deluded that you have mastered the art of tongue control; you just might be a miserable failure the next day.

The truth is, however, we can improve. We do get better at it. The reward is worth the effort, I promise you.

Excerpted from Controlling the Tongue (Charisma House, 2007).

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • There are some ways the Holy Spirit will never lead you.

    4 Ways the Holy Spirit Does Not Lead You—and 1 Big Danger

    Wrong teaching, ignorance, laziness and a failure of the five-fold to equip the saints for the work ...

  • Chuck Pierce

    Prophetic Word: 'The Winds of Heaven Are Now Entering the Earth'

    Chuck Pierce says we need to brace ourselves.

  • What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    Start saving for emergencies today with the $500 Savings Challenge by brightpeak financial. It's chock-full of inspiration, great savings tips and the motivation to make a dent in your savings—for real! Go to to sign up!

  • Lee's ministry photo

    10 Ways to Pray for a Troubled America

    God is always willing to rescue His people if they pray.

  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Whether it's purchasing a property, remodeling or refinancing, Christian Community Credit Union has a loan package that's customized for your budget and situation.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • God doesn't usually shout, so you should listen carefully.

    What Happens When You Actually Listen to God

    It will surprise—and most likely shock—you.

  • Is there any unconfessed sin in your life?

    Scripture Says Pain, Health and Sin Share This Unexpected Connection

    If you're experiencing chronic pain, this may offer you the answer you need.

  • Guarding the gates of your heart will keep the demonic and evil out of your life.

    Keep the Demonic Out of Your Life With This Oft-Overlooked Spiritual Warfare Strategy

    The enemy knows his limitations. Limit him.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit