“So, too, the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! … But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.”
James 3:5-6, 8-10
What is your first impression of the passage? What about this one?
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Our words have a powerful influence on others; what we say holds so much meaning. Do you always think before you speak? Do you voice only the kindest of thoughts you have? Do you openly slander the images of others? What about gossip? Lies? Let’s be honest. We all struggle with the things we say. None of us are perfect. I especially have a bad habit of speaking before I think, and I’ve hurt too many people because of it.
The average person speaks about 5000 words per day. Our words reveal our true nature, and God calls us to live with Him in our hearts. As His children, His spirit flows through us and is evident to people in our words and actions. Speaking carelessly, with anger, shame, and hate can bring about hurt and destruction. A harsh word can damage a person’s sense of self worth. God created all of us in His image, and He finds us worthy of the most incredible form of love- His love. A love that is patient and kind. A love that always protects and hopes. His love does not speak with words of envy or boast. His words are not proud, and He is not easily angered. Our speech should reflect the love and the grace that we’ve been shown. Speaking with joy, modeled after God’s love for us, is where we find ourselves best serving him.
“Kind words are like honey- sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Our words have the power to do anything- to tear down or build up. Let’s use our speech to bring about peace, gentleness, and goodness. The things we say dictate the parameters for our lives. God is looking for us to live a holy life, one full of kind words and encouragement. If you find yourself struggling with controlling your tongue, seek the Lord’s help and wisdom. Pray with me:
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”