Honor the Lord with Your Tongue
“The tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.… How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire…. No one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessings and cursing…this ought not to be so.” James 3:5–10 (nrsv)
The tongue is so small yet with such capacity to be cruel. It’s easy to let my tongue run wild. It is tempting to let something spill out—disgust with a difficult friend or family member, dislike for someone who disagrees with me, gossip—those juicy tidbits of information that may or may not have a basis in truth. Yet a word, once spoken, can never be harnessed, recaptured or controlled.
Envision the pure, innocent mind of a child. Picture that child being exposed to something improper or shocking. That young mind cannot erase those images once embedded in its psyche. They will stay with them forever. Neither can I erase hurtful words I speak. They embed themselves in people’s minds and grow like seeds in dark, rich, loamy soil. Their produce is negativity, doubt, lowered self-worth, insecurity, hurt. No one can control or undo what harm these spiteful or injurious words might do. They are like feral things that cannot be ensnared.
The spoken word can be as sharp and dangerous as a blade, wounding and potentially deadly. In order to honor Him I must keep my mouth and my mind in sync—always focused on what honors the Lord.
FAITH STEP: Avoid hurtful, careless or thoughtless words today.
Written by Judy Baer
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