It is astonishing the situations that occur when words that should not be spoken are spoken. We see so much anger, bitterness and frustration that is expressed and even taken out on others through our words. James speaks clearly about how important it is to control our tongue and watch our words. Check out James 3:2-6 with me.
James acknowledges that none of us are perfect in verse 2. We are all going to make mistakes. So let’s be aware of that and treat others with the kind of empathy and forgiveness we would like when we make mistakes. He goes on to talk about how you train horses with a bit. Now if you have been around horses you know that there are several different styles and purposes for different bits. There are training bits that are a bit rough to get the horses attention quicker. As the horse begins to understand what is expected, that bits become less rough and softer in material. The type of bit used will depend on the temperament of the horse. The quicker they learn and comply with the trainer, the quicker you can get them off the harsh bits. But this bit will control their whole body and the direction they walk.
The small rudder on the ship is another example. It is amazing that such large ships are controlled by one and sometimes two small rudders. These rudders will determine the direction of the ship and the speed at which the remain on course or get off course.
Hopefully you are seeing the importance of the bit and the rudder. This is exactly the importance of our tongues. We bless and curse with the same tongue. We offend and repent with the same tongue. It is our choice what happens when we open our mouths or keep it closed. There are times we need to just keep quiet and protect those around us from words that could be spoken in haste, and times we need to encourage and bless those around us and we tend to struggle with both. Why is that? Because we have not trained our tongues and maybe we have not renewed our minds fully with the Word of God either.
But today in our country we see that the “Forest” that is referred to in verse 5 has been set ablaze. The words that have been spoken and the anger and hate that has been spewed in the media and amongst ourselves must stop so we can put this fire out. We can make a difference with those around us. We see in the Gospels how Jesus spoke to and ate with people of different beliefs. From the sinner to the tax collector and never was there anything spoken out of anger and bitterness. He did rebuke some folks along the way, but take a look at how that occurred. It was never a personal attack. It addressed behaviors that were wrong and actions that were contrary to God’s will and the commandments.
Let’s focus on taming our tongue and using our power and words to Glorify God in everything. That does not mean that we do not get frustrated with situations. What it does mean is that we do not attack others for their mistakes. It is our mandate to restore those who have made mistakes back to God.
Let’s focus on restoration and put out the fire that is raging today!
Be Strong and Courageous!