Young children are very candid. They are truthful to a fault. Without warning, when they think a thought, they will speak it out of their mouths. Sometimes these blatantly honest utterances can be hurtful, even though unintentional. Children are simply expressing their opinions on a matter. In the home, these moments of candor can be dealt with as “teachable moments.” However, in social or public arenas, youngsters very often leave parents with the unenviable task of explaining away a “faux pas.” (I’m guessing anecdotal stories are being revisited now) As adults, neither are we able to tame our tongues. What do the Scriptures say about this “little member?”
If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:1-8)
Horses are extraordinarily beautiful animals. Whether they are galloping or trotting, the gracefulness of these animals can readily be described as “poetry in motion.” The average weight of a horse is between 700 and 1100 pounds. Depending on the breed of a horse, it can weigh up to more than a ton. Like a bit in the horse’s mouth, or the helm of a ship, the tongue is but a little member in the body, yet it is very powerful. The tongue is a fire, and can create extremely destructive fires in our lives, leaving emotional and spiritual ruin and devastation in its path. The tongue is full of sin. It is restless evil, full of deadly poison. It defileth the whole body. However, from the same tongue proceed blessings and healing words to our loved ones, the sin sick, the brokenhearted, and those in despair. You see, a tongue that has been tamed, mends broken relationships, speaks salvation to the lost, and redemption through the precious blood of the Lamb. It shares the unconditional love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A man has no power to control, restrain, or tame the tongue. It is only through the grace and power of the Lord Jesus Christ abiding in us, and as we allow His power to transform us by the renewing, changing, regenerating, and re-creating the mind of Christ within us, that the tongue can be tamed. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. (Philippians 4:8) An excerpt of the book of Matthew 12:34 says, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Let us ask the Lord, to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us. Let us also think pure thoughts, hide the Word of God in our hearts, and strive to be holy in all manner of conversation, as our God is also holy.
When under pressure, when angry, or in a stressful situation, with God’s help, we need to re-program ourselves to think twice, and speak once. Sometimes our first thoughts are not always our “best” thoughts. Reconsideration is often in order. In just a few moments, perhaps seconds, if we allow the LORD to speak into our hearts, He can cause us to speak life into a situation rather than death, peace rather than confusion, blessings rather than cursing, compassion rather than cruelty, deliverance rather than bondage, victory rather than defeat, and love rather than hate. May the Lord bless you abundantly, today and every day!
Read: James 3:9-12