But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. James 3:8-10
Oh my, do you see yourself here as I see myself here? How often have I disappointed the Lord with the use of my words. And the repercussions I have reaped when I do! Brother James describes the tongue as having the capacity of a forest fire that starts with but a spark. How often have I said one “small” thing that erupted into a raging fire, only to then find myself sweating in regret. My stomach aches. My head hurts. I can’t sleep. I pace. I fret over the presumed, or actual, ramifications. It’s a sad and sickly sight.
With our tongues we have the power to bless each other. I think of the verse in Isaiah 52:7, How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news. What a blessing encouragement is. We all know the feeling when someone draws near to us and bolsters our spirit. We all want to hear good news. We all want to be understood and spoken to with care.
Conversely, how conscious are we of using our tongues for cursing? James says we use it not only to bless our God but to curse those who are made in His image. Yikes! My mind says, “How can that be?” but my heart knows the truth. What does Luke 6:45 say?
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
I know that if my heart is not where it should be…nestled in the embrace of Jesus…then I am apt to say almost any hurtful thing; to my husband – my children, my girlfriend, my co-laborer… anyone.
So together, sisters, let’s remember the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as He shared these words through James. And let’s be encouraged that even when words spill out that we can’t take back, there’s a God who we can take them to and ask forgiveness. What a God! What a Savior!
Carol Tirondola is on staff with the Partner Care team at America’s Keswick. She and her best friend, Mario, have been married for 35 years. They have 2 sons and 2 daughters-in-law that they call their “BFFs”. They also have 7 precious gems called grandchildren. Her family has savored many memories of the heart made at Keswick over the last 35+ years and she is thrilled to now be serving on staff!
Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. Malachi 3:16