“Some things are better left unsaid”—is what I generally realize right after saying them.
The Epistle of James has much to say about the tongue. One of the signs of spiritual immaturity or carnality is that every time you open your mouth the “old man” comes out. What you say will often reveal the state of your heart (Matt 15:19).
In James 5:9-16, James gives two examples of bad uses of your tongue: complaining and swearing (vv 9, 12). If you’re complaining about others, then you’re judging them. And if you’re swearing to tell the truth, what are you doing the rest of the time—speaking lies?
In the same passage, James also gives five godly uses of your tongue.
First, speak the truth: “let your yes be yes, and your no, no” (v 12). Don’t embellish. Don’t exaggerate. Don’t dramatize. Just speak the simple truth at all times.
Second, pray: “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray” (v 13a). Don’t whine, grumble, or complain—bring your petitions to God and pray about it.
Third, sing: “Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises” (v 13b). Praise God—in the midst of blessings or the middle of trials (cf. 1:2), declare His glory and focus on His goodness, powers, and perfections.
Fourth, call for help: “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church” (5:14). You don’t have to suffer alone. When you were born-again, it was into a new family. You’re a child of God, but not an only child. If you need help, call for it.
Fifth, confess: “Confess your sins to one another” (5:16). Instead of complaining about other people’s sins and judging them for it, be realistic about your own, and confess them.