Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tongue clinic

TODAY'S SPECIAL: James 3:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things out not to be so." James 3:10

In this chapter James gives us a little clinic on the tongue—that is, what rolls off it in speech. What can we learn from James about this vital part of our 'anatomy'?

  • The tongue is a huge challenge.
James begins his discourse by declaring that the person who uses his tongue well ("does not stumble in word"—and by "stumble" he means more than just a smooth delivery—is a "perfect man" ["perfect" is teleios: complete, finished, perfect, mature]) James 3:2.

  • But it's so small.
James compares it to a ship's rudder or the bit of a horse's harness.

  • However, its size contrasts with the effect it can have.
Rudders and bits are used to steer and set a course. James seems to be implying that the direction of our lives can be changed by what slips off our tongue (James 3:3-4).

  • Its smallness doesn't limit the largeness of its boasts or the damage it can do.
It can begin and spread destruction in forest fire style and is as lethal as poison (James 3:5, 6, 8).

  • Words can pollute the whole body (James 3:6).

  • Its destructiveness originates in hell (James 3:6).

  • It is virtually impossible to tame (James 3:7).

  • It demonstrates our inconsistency.
Or perhaps better said, it illustrates our hypocrisy as we bless God and curse our brother, speak sometimes sweetly, sometimes bitterly with the same tongue (James 3:9-12).

Perhaps in getting a handle on this pesky organ, we need to take a step back to examine the engine that produces those words—our thoughts. In her book Battlefield of the Mind, Joyce Meyer says:

"Our thoughts are silent words that only we and the Lord hear, but those words affect our inner man, our health, our joy and our attitude. The things we think on often come out of our mouth" - Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind, p. 135.

What a challenge to tackle the "words" part of our thoughts and tongues!

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me today to control my thoughts and words with the weapon of Your Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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