"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The tongue

I have been very convicted over the past few years to watch how I use my tongue. I have participated in a couple of Bible studies which focused on how powerful the tongue is. The Bible compares it to a ship's rudder, and a spark that ignites a huge fire. Tonight, as a group, our Wed. night Bible study group was challenged to think about it in preparation for Sunday's sermon. James 3 is the inspiring text.

James 3: 1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or 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. 5Likewise 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. 6The 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. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt[
a] water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

I put in bold print two parts that really stand out to me. "It corrupts the whole person...", this means that one wrong slip of the tongue can ruin my witness. I may live a life according to my faith, but if one spark from my tongue meets up with a dry soul a fire will blaze (and I'm not talking about a holy fire.) One small, regretted word can not only cause a man to stumble, but will ruin or corrupt my whole person. I can only sit and wonder how many times I have burned someone with my tongue. How many times has my whole person has become corrupt over probably nothing more than a minor annoyance or a chance to be a part of a conversation, or a misunderstood phrase, or a subtle but honest stab... The strongest part of that particular verse is that the spark is set on fire by Hell itself! So a nasty word escaping my mouth comes from Hell.

I have often wondered things like, why can't we cure the common cold when we can send someone to space?, and why we can make bombs that kill thousands of people, but can't kill a tiny virus?... James points out a very similar curiosity-- we can tame all kinds of wild animals, but NO MAN has ever been able to tame the tongue.

He points out that we often praise God, then turn right around and curse a man or I will add a woman who is made in God's image. Ladies, how true is this? I have so many times wondered why someone acts as they do and can get pretty judgemental about speculated causes for their actions (like why is that person just stupidly standing in the middle of the aisle while I am waiting patiently to go around-- or at least I am sure people have wondered that of me as I stand dumbfounded in the Wal-Mart after looking everywhere for what used to be right there!) Anyway, we ladies are so often accused of gossiping, but maybe this is not all we do. We get awfully competitive over how our children compare with those of other moms, or how our mothering is better than that mother whose kids is going berserk over not getting the Fruit Loops in the cereal aisle... I have (before having children) often thought, "if only that mom would spank that kid"; now I find myself thinking, "oh, I am so glad it is not just me!!!!!" I still hear people say things along these lines, but I usually have a story to tell about how I can't say anything because I have had the exact same scenario-- lost children, child putting NASTY things in their mouths, child going shoeless in the winter or going out without a coat in 20 degree weather... No matter how dumb I might be acting (or the lady at the grocery store, or the person tailgating us on the interstate, or the person at church that just keeps things stirred up... whoever this person might be, they) I am made in God's image. I may not be a great resemblance of Him at the moment, but He is there! There is a song that I love, by Brandon Heath, with the lines, "give me Your eyes so I can see, everything that I've been missing, give me Your love for humanity..."

Lord, I will end these thoughts with the earnest request for eyes that see humanity as You and a heart that loves humans like You do. Lord, only You can tame my tongue. Keep me aware of how I am using my tongue and may it always be pleasing to You. Lord, I know I will slip-- I will ask You now to show me when I do and give me the words to put out the initial fire before it becomes a wildfire!

1 comment:

  1. I gave you a blog award!!!! make sure you hit my blog and see it!


I love to read your comments! I would love to post those with actual thoughts reflecting on my posts. Spam and nastiness will not be posted.