In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! James 3:5-10 NLT
Friends I have to say, I read these verses and immediately felt conviction come over me. I’m sure at least once a day, I have blessed the Lord and then cursed my neighbor, friend, family member, or someone I don’t even know. How easy it seems for our tempers to flare and the words to come out. They say, “The tongue has no bones, but it is strong enough to break a heart. So watch what you say.” I must admit, this is definitely an area that I need to work on and I am sure we all do.
So quickly things pop into our head, fly out of our mouths, and we are left there thinking to ourselves, did I really just say that out loud? In just a few weeks, the Thursday women’s Bible study group is going to start a study by Karen Ehman called “Keep It Shut.” When Lia Gray brought up the possibility of this study, everyone instantly agreed, oh yes, I need this study. Unfortunately for us, these verses are very true in our lives, but it doesn’t mean we can’t get back on track. I think if we just paused for a moment before we instantly reacted with our words, the tongue might be more likely to bless than curse. If we stop and think – God is listening to this conversation, how might we better respond? We all have areas we need to improve in, that’s why we are still here and He’s not finished with us. But we have a God who knows exactly what we need, so we can place those needs before Him and if that means Him placing His hand over our mouth – then let’s add that to the prayer list as well.
Father God who is slow to anger, help us to work on taming the tongue. We recognize that we are human and we all fall short of who You want us to be. Encourage us, uplift us, and provide us with the guidance we need to speak when we should speak and when we should say nothing at all. Amen.