Taming the Tongue


When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree
bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce
fresh water.
~ James 3:3-12

Oh the tongue.. what damage it can do, and trust me when I say that.  Think about this for a minute, what other part of the body can cause someone pain that last a lifetime in just seconds?  Give up?  The answer, none.  I want to break this scripture down into sections.

Our Guide – Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they
are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.
What James is telling us here, is that while our tongue has the ability to steer us, and keep us on the straight and narrow, it also has the ability to make us crash and burn if we steer in the wrong direction.  Lies are costly.  They can cost you in so many different ways, but most of all, your reputation.  Most lies start innocent, then before you know it, you have to start lying for your lies.  You tell one little innocent lie to cover yourself or something you have done, then before you know it, you are finding it hard to remember the first lie or why you even said it to began with.  Your reputation and integrity depend on our ability to honest, not just with others, but with ourselves.  After all, the one that it really matters to, already knows, so why lie about it?

Wildfire – Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. What James is telling us here, is that while our tongue has the ability to start a wildfire with a single spark (i.e., Gossip/Rumors)  I will give you an example, say you are surround by a group of friends
and they are talking about someone you know.  At first the conversation is innocent, then one person says something negative or better yet, untrue.  Before you know it, the entire group is gossiping about that person, and then once they leave the group, they don’t stop, but they continue to add to the fire.  And before you know it, one person is left in a sea of tears, all because someone chose to steer the tongue in the wrong direction.  Rumors start by someone seeking attention for themselves, by giving up pieces of information about someone else.  They figure, if I can say something here that might get them talking, then all there focus will be on what I have to say. In actuality, what they have done is caused a hole slew of problems for an innocent person.  Satan gets us all in
this area.  We have all witnessed it, and may have even be apart of it, or worse, the innocent person it happen to.  And as you know, these rumors can and sometimes  destroy a persons life and reputation, all by one persons tongue steering in the wrong direction.  So take two seconds to think before you speak.

The second part to this one is anger… we often say things out of anger that we don’t really mean.  But these words can often be the most damaging.  Once words are said, they can not ever be taken back.  While they can be forgiven, and you move on and forget about them, the person who received those words in your anger, lives with them forever.  Every time something happens, or something causes the mind to remember that fight, Satan hits the replay button… No matter what you do you can’t take them back.  So be very cautious and slow to speak, even and probably most importantly, in anger.  Because the old added saying, “Stick and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is simply a lie!  I have recovered a lot faster after being hit or in a fight, but words said to me, even years and years later, still linger.  So again, take two seconds to think before you speak.

In Closing

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and
salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
What James is telling us here, is that we should not curse.  Our months should be controlled and tamed so that we can praise the Father.  That one is pretty simple.  As James says, Fresh water (Praise) and salt water (cursing) can not flow from the same spring.

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About Brad Clarke

The Christian journey takes us through many different areas in life. Our Walk with Jesus, is exactly that and is designed to encourage, inspire, and help any and all that read it.
This entry was posted in Anger, Following God, Forgiveness, Life, Pain, Temptation, The Enemy, The Tongue, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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