Controlling the tongue is the next heading in my morning readings from James. It is found in James 3:1-12 NLT.
At first it warns that not all of us should be teachers in church because teachers are judged more harshly. This is because teachers have the power to lead people astray or turn people from God if they are not teaching correctly.
Verse 2 says, “Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way”.
In verses 3-6 it gives us three examples of what the tongue is like – the bit in the horses mouth, the rudder on a large ship and the spark that starts a raging fire. The tongue has so much power to change and shape things.
One verse that jumped out at me today is verse 9. It says, “Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God”.
This reminds us that the tongue or the words we speak can go either way. It can be used well to praise God or used badly to curse others.
I know that over the years my tongue and words have improved, but it is still not perfect… it is a work in progress. God is still not finished with me thankfully!
Sometimes I say the wrong things or say them in the wrong way. Sometimes I speak too soon when I don’t know all the facts. This is why James warns us in chapter two to be quick to listen and slow to speak.
I have learned that I need to use my words wisely. I need to consider them and take my time. I need to ask myself are they building up or tearing down.
Let us all purpose in our hearts today to use our words well today. Let us use words that build up and encourage and speak life and truth into others today.
Dear God, help me to use my words well today. Please help me to control my tongue. I pray I will speak words of truth and life today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.