If your hobby is jumping on the latest fads in health, then get ready to sign up for tongue therapy. Forget expensive cosmetic surgery! You can improve your looks with the right therapy … of your tongue. But tongue therapy is not just for vain people. Even if you gave up long ago on improving your face, you should still do tongue therapy for the health benefits.
See how great tongue therapy is? Improve your health and get a better-looking mug? Two for one!
Don’t take my word for it. Noted celebrity and medical expert Kourtney Kardashian gives her endorsement of tongue therapy. (OK, she’s not a real medical expert, but in our current culture, celebrities are experts on everything because … well, they’re celebrities.) And let’s not forget YouTube. Nine million+ views about correct tongue posture? Hmmm. Must be something to it.
Hold up. Before you sign on for tongue surgery, tongue rehab, tongue exercises, or a serving of beef tongue, keep this in mind: There is no medical evidence that tongue therapy does anything but lighten your wallet. Before anyone gives me a tongue-lashing for my cynicism, show me the research. Not only are the benefits of tongue therapy questionable, but some people have been harmed by the efforts of some well-meaning dentists. [Source]
If you’re really interested in tongue therapy, let me offer some exercises that are proven to work. It’s not the kind of tongue therapy that will improve your looks, but people won’t mind being around you.
Guard your tongue. “The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (Prov. 21:23). There’s an obvious health benefit right there. Keep your mouth shut and you’re less likely to get punched in the nose! OK, so maybe you’ve not said something that led to fisticuffs, but I’m guessing you’ve experienced putting a foot in your mouth, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or creating that awkward silence with a poor choice of words. Our words do get us in trouble, and none of us likely need a sermon on the importance of guarding our words. But how do we guard our words?
Guard your mind. What comes out of our mouths starts in our heads. We need to guard our thoughts. Our minds and our words will not be filled with words that are foul, insulting, degrading, prideful, prejudicial, spiteful, or gossipy if we fill our heads with just the opposite
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
Those are the preventive measures. Let’s move on to some positive exercises.
Use your tongue to pray. Begin by directing your words to God. Use words of praise. Use words of thanksgiving. With words directed to God, we get our minds in the right setting and perspective.
In Psalm 35, David had some legitimate complaints about the way others were treating him. He faced injustice, threats, and taunts. He never responded in kind, though. Instead, He took his feelings to God in this prayer. What David chose to speak instead were words of praise.
“I will praise you in the great assembly; I will exalt you among many people…. And my tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praise all day long” (Ps. 35:18,28).
Use your tongue to encourage. There is no clearer directive on what we should speak than Ephesians 4:29: “No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” A lot of folks focus on the first part of that verse, using the reference to no foul language as a reason to wash out a few mouths with soup, but what catches my attention is the second half.
- The words I speak should build others up.
- The words I speak should extend grace.
Ephesians 4:29 has gradually become one of my life verses. I encourage you to make it one of yours. Your words can make an incredible difference in the lives of others. The kindness and encouragement that comes from your tongue can be the very therapy others need.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14).
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