Watch Your Tongue
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. (James 3:5-6 NIV)
James is not too complimentary of the tongue, is he? He sounds like the voice of experience. He says the tongue is "set on fire by hell." Wow! I think James may know something about this subject!
Do you think James was the victim of a careless tongue? Could he have experienced the wrath of a vicious talker? Is it possible he knows the feeling of having someone "talk about you behind your back"?
I don't think James wrote this, even under the inspiration of God, without first hand knowledge of the subject. Perhaps James, the half-brother of Jesus, had received criticism for his relationship with Christ. Maybe people had bad mouthed his family, or ridiculed his character. It could be that he witnessed the early church, gossiping among themselves, and he saw the damage those words caused in doing the work of Christ.
However, James learned this truth, he knew that the tongue was capable of destruction. He recognized that the tongue was a powerful part of the body. He felt it necessary to warn us about its use.
Are you watching your tongue today? Are you aware of the damage you can cause with it? Are you sensitive to the feelings of those around you? Often it is those closest to us who receive the greatest wrath of our tongues. Will you join with me as we strive to get a hold on the use of our tongues?
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