WOW!!! the fires in California are so devastating – we live in and love Australia and have been watching the devastation from way over here.
We also live in this amazing country where it is summer at present and what happens?
Snow down on the alps – floods in NSW – unimaginative disaster, and to top it all off major bush fires in Queensland – So our hearts go out to the people in California for their huge losses – words can’t describe how these people who have lost everything are feeling and coping.
Fire, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and typhoons etc are really distressing and so painful. Personal belongings lost forever and worse still the loss of life….. Well words just cannot express how you feel.
Hurtful words can have the same effect and impact – I have been reading James lately and going on my life’s past experience, I am left pondering this question WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO CONTROL THE TONGUE?
In James 3 the brother of Jesus tells us that “NO ONE can tame the tongue”. Powerful words indeed. James has lot to say about the tongue – He may have had the same problem I have had – I have lost count of the time I have lost control of the tongue.
He goes on to say that the tongue is such a small part of our bodies yet it makes HUGE boasts – worse than that he says it can be like a fire a world of evil that defiles the whole body – set on fire from the very gates of hell itself YIKES!!!!
Hiding inside all of us I feel is the horrible ability to flare up all sorts of ‘fires’ including hatred, jealousy, envy, judging and the list goes on and on
Our tongues can destroy someones reputation by simply one or two words. We can be taken out of context and the rumours can spread just like wildfires in the Aussie bush.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that something I personally said in a concerning and absolutely innocent way was misinterpreted by another person and next thing I knew I had a young lady phoning me wondering why I had said such a thing which in her opinion was so so wrong.
So you see we have to be so careful with what we say and even how we say it. As I have shared before I have had to let a friend of long standing go because of what he called my ‘banter’. We have to be so careful with how we present ourselves to others. Not everyone thinks or talks like we do.
Our tongues are capable to lying on one hand and being sarcastic and patronising on the other. It can flatter and malign even in one sentence.
Our tongues can criticise in such a destructive way that it can cause suicides and the power to change minds, situations and ideals. WHOA!!
On saying all of that our tongues can be soothing in times of bereavement and crisis it can even encourage and bless – so how come James is insistent in saying that ‘no one can control the tongue’?
James explains in chapter 3 verses 9 to 12. ‘With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in the likeness of God, Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this SHOULD NOT BE. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.’ (NIV)
So we see here that even though we love to flatter and ‘be nice’ we can also be completely the opposite and James reminds us so clearly that this is so wrong!
What is to be done then to tame this tongue of ours that James even likens to a rudder in a ship, controlling what we do and what we say and even where we go?
We always seem to bang on about being ‘ the master of our own fates – the captain of our own souls’ how subtly we convince ourselves that we control our own lives.
It often takes a crisis or even death itself to convince us otherwise. James goes on to tell us ‘ you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes’.
Our lives are so transient. We really do not have full control of our lives at all. Our tongues can set us on paths of destruction that we just cannot change or undo.
There is only one who can control the tongue. It is only when God comes onto our lives that we have any hope in controlling our tongue. Even then we have to keep focusing on Him at all times.
When we have God’s spirit living inside of us he convicts us when we sin with our tongue. When we are focused on Him, we know immediately what we say is wrong and we repent and pray earnestly for a refreshment of God’s spirit so that we can put things right and avoid getting further into the sin-hold that our tongues can bury us in.
The further we rely on God to captain our lives we will find that he will control our wayward tongues as well which has to be a good thing considering all the damage it has done and continues to do.
Let’s ask God today to make our tongues a source of life rather that a source of destruction.
God bless you this week as you ask God to control your tongue and help you to be so aware of what you say.
Categories: INSPIRATIONAL ARTICLES