How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh. (James 3:5-12)
Pastor John’s Notes:
We can do great damage by our words. James is calling us to be mindful of everything we speak. Not every thought we think is fit to be spoken. In fact, much of what we think should never be spoken. The follower of Jesus Christ knows the power of the tongue and carefully monitors what goes out of his or her mouth.
Lord, make me careful of everything I say. Let everything that goes out of my mouth be glorifying to you or a blessing to others. Let me no longer let loose words fly. Teach me how to remain silent, even when I wish to speak. Teach me to rely upon you for what needs to be spoken.