Donald Trump’s Tongue Problem
When Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for President, opens his mouth, you never know what is going to come out. A couple days ago, Trump interrupted his own press conference to point to Tom Llamas of ABC News and say, “What I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars, have people say– like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC, he’s a sleaze in my book.” That exchange is only the latest of Trump’s favorite sport of name-calling. Trump has a history of insulting people with whom he disagrees: He called Charles Krauthammer a “clown,” Bill Kristol “Dopey,” Rick Wilson “dumb as a rock,” Bill de Blasio a “disgrace,” Frank Luntz “a low-class slob,” Glenn Beck a “wacko,” Alisyn Camerota a “disaster,” S. E. Cupp “[one] of the dumbest people in politics,” and I’ll stop there lest you spend the rest of your day reading Trump’s insults.
I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s insults. No, I’m not concerned about the insults from a political perspective—after all, Mr. Trump has insulted people on both sides of the aisle. I’m troubled by Trump’s continued sinful use of his tongue without apology.
Yes, Trump’s use of his tongue to insult others is sinful. There—I said it; regardless of what you might or might not think of Mr. Trump, you cannot deny that the use of his tongue is sinful. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). “With [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:9-10). Each man—whether a well-known real estate mogul or an obscure man struggling to make ends meet—will give account for how he has used his tongue: “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:34-37).
Trump’s trouble with his tongue reminds us all of the need to watch carefully what we say. Here are some suggestions for how to use our tongue:
- Pray for those in need.
- Speak the truth.
- Share the Gospel of Jesus with someone who is lost.
- Sing praises to God.
- Teach your children the truth.
- Encourage the discouraged.
- Tell how God has blessed you.
- Thank those who have helped you.
- Compliment the preacher for a word fitly spoken.
- Tell your wife how lovely she looks in her new dress.
- Carefully watch your words when you’re angry.
- Tell your children you love them.
- Make sure you don’t let a day pass without telling your spouse something good about him.
- Ask your elderly neighbor, “What can I do to help?”
- Thank the waiter who brings your food.
Donald Trump doesn’t seem to be able to control his tongue, but you can—you must. “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26). Don’t have worthless religion; bridle your tongue.