James 3:3-12, 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
James is a little rough on us in the passage above. I am going to guess that this passage is not one of your favorite passages. Definitely not one of mine. It’s probably not hanging on the fridge at home. Yet, it probably should be. At least at my place. I probably need to hang it in every room.
Only God knows how many times, whether knowingly, or unknowingly, I have used my tongue to hurt others, and, in effect, bring reproach to the name of Christ. How many times have I used my tongue to be critical, to gossip, or to wound a brother or sister in Christ? How many times have I used my tongue to be critical of those who don’t know Christ, and in effect, don’t know better? How many times have I been critical of another man’s culture? How many? Not sure, but far too many to count and to excuse!
May God help all of us to use our tongues to speak the truth in love with wisdom from above!