In January, 2010, a man in India sliced off his tongue as an offering to a deity, in the hope of being blessed with a son.
In February, 2012, a seventeen-year-old boy in India chopped off his tongue to appease a goddess.
In yet another story, in April, 2012, a sixteen-year-old boy in India slit his tongue and offered it to a deity.
From an occult perspective, the tongue bears a great deal of significance. It's associated with the element of fire as well as spiritual and sexual power.
When I was training to become a Reiki master, I was taught to hold my tongue against the roof of my mouth. This position of the tongue is believed to help the body complete a "circuit" through which the Chi energy would circulate, in order to transfer it to others.
In Aztec and Maya cultures, priests have a history of piercing their tongues to honor their gods. And in Asia, tongue piercing has been done as proof of trance in mediums.
In the Buddhist religion there is a Tantric deity whose distinguishing feature is a forked tongue. In artwork, she is portrayed as deadly, arrayed with human skulls and feet that dance on the corpse of a man.
In Hare Krsna temples, a rigorous daily practice of cleaning the tongue by scraping with a special tool is required of devotees. Ayurvedic teachings claim that each region of the tongue is linked to a set of major organs. And when I used to get acupuncture, my acupuncturist used to look at my tongue each week in order to diagnose my condition.
The protruding tongues of gargoyles represent the sexual principle, which is considered a highly potent force in occultism. In fact, Satan himself is often depicted with a protruding tongue. Even as children, when we wanted to express rudeness, we stuck out our tongues.
When a medium channels a spirit, the tongue is held loosely in order to yield it to the spirit that speaks. This is a counterfeit of prophecy. As we see in 2 Samuel 23:2, God's word was in David's tongue.
The Bible illustrates vividly the capabilities of the tongue. According to Psalm 10:7, mischief and vanity can be found under the tongue. In Psalm 50:19, the tongue frames deceit. In Psalm 52:2 it's like a razor, in Psalm 57:4 it's a sharp sword, and in Jeremiah 9:8 it's as an arrow shot out. In Jeremiah 9:3, it's bent like a bow for lies, and in James 3 it is a fire and full of deadly poison. In Psalm 73:9 it's characterized as walking through the earth, in Proverbs 10:20 it's as choice silver, and in Proverbs 31:26 the law of kindness is in the tongue of a virtuous woman.
As followers of Jesus, we know that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. " Proverbs 18:21
We also know that we will give account to God for every idle word.
We know that lying is a form of hate.
Likewise, controlling our tongues can help us avoid troubles.
Many unbelievers have cited the hypocritical tongues of professing Christians as a reason for their disdain toward Jesus' followers, and by default sometimes, His teachings. Indeed, God hates a lying tongue.
We have all made the mistake of speaking unwholesome, unedifying, and even untrue words. Sadly, each of us is also aware of the harm and pain that can ensue when an unbridled tongue wags without regard for consequences.
And when unwholesome speech comes out of our mouths, it often betrays our own secret motives and hidden sins of the heart.
The Bible also tells us the following about the tongue:
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
1 Peter 3:10
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
So, how can we bridle our tongues? How can we control what we say and keep our souls from the troubles that the tongue can bring?
When I first met Jesus, my language could have made a sailor blush so hard his eyes would water, and I wanted to change that. I set out to discipline myself and started by applying the "what goes in must come out" rule. Jesus did say it was what came out of our mouths rather than what went into them that made us impure.
I determined that counting my blessings was a must. David continually gave thanks to God, even in the midst of suffering. I still try to make a practice of coming up with a different thing each day to give thanks for. I even post this "thank you" on Facebook if I have time.
Praise is also a powerful weapon against any evil thing. Its power in battle is demonstrated numerous times in scripture. Glorifying God always helps break oppression from the enemy.
One preacher advised those struggling with an unruly tongue to read Psalms out loud, daily. Psalm 71:24 says, "My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt." Clearly, speaking of God's righteousness is good. Reading Psalms out loud did help me a little. Reading the whole Bible helped even more.
As my mind was renewed by the word of God, I slowly started noticing something. It was the profane attitudes in my heart that gave rise to the profane words I spoke. The sins of the tongue originate within the heart. It is what's in the heart that comes out of the mouth. If we want to stop sinning with our tongues, we need to seek a change of heart.
If you ask God to change your heart, He will.
I pray that the words of my tongue - the words of my heart - will make a difference in this world, for Jesus.