“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be.  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”
James 4:9-11 (NIV)
  “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”
Psalm 34:1 (NIV)

As I began this post, my original intention was to only talk about Psalm 34:1 and speaking His praises.  However, as I continued, I felt a nudge in my heart to include James 4:9-11.  My heart became convicted and I realized, how can I only talk about the importance of praising the Lord, and not encourage us to tame our tongues?  

My heart’s desire is for His praises to always be on my lips, but the reality of my heart is that I have fresh water and salty water flowing from the same spring.  It only takes seconds for me to switch from praising to cursing… when I’m leaving a great quiet time with the Lord, a time spent praying and praising His name, only to get up from the table, and spill your hot coffee all over myself—my mouth immediately switches from praising to cursing.
Or when I’m listening to praise songs on my iPod, running to the bus in the morning in the pouring rain, and the bus driver closes the door in my face and drives away.  Once again, praise words aren’t exactly pouring from my mouth.
Or when I leave a meeting where my coworker drives me absolutely insane and all I want to do is run into another office to talk about how annoying they are.

I’m not saying we should praise God even when our heart aren’t feeling it—the last thing I want is for my heart to praise the Lord in vain.  Rather, if we want hearts and mouths that speak and declare the praises of the Lord, we need to tame our tongues as well.

I promise you, I am the absolute worst.  My tongue has been a weapon since I was old enough to speak. In talking about the importance of praising the Lord and speaking His praises, it would been completely hypocritical of me to only talk about the importance of offering praises to the Lord and not about the importance of taming our tongues.  

My prayer for all of us is that we will have tongues filled with fresh, living water.  I pray that when we feel the salty water about to flood out of our mouths, that we will clothes our mouths, take a deep breath, and pray,

“Lord, I desire for your praises to be on my lips.  Please “set a guard over my mouth and keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3 NIV).

Lord, you are so worthy of our praises!  My hearts desire is for your praise to always be on my lips.  Throughout the day, I want a heart that loves to praise you.  I confess that there are so many times when my tongue is out of control.  There are so many times, when instead of praising you, I am cursing, criticizing, and complaining.  Lord, this is such a struggle for me, but I pray that you will strengthen me to have a mouth that declares your praises.  Lord, may my mouth be filled with fresh words that bless and glorify your name.  You alone are worthy of my praise.  I pray that today, my heart will love and glorify your holy and awesome name.