Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and saltwater? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
James 3:1-12 (English Standard Version)
“The function of your mouth is a product of the things that dwell in your heart. In order to tame your tongue, you must first examine your heart and get it right with God.”
This tiny instrument is overflowing in contradictions, opinionated, full of vitriol, bitterness, and cursing YET also blessing and loving, full of compassion and forgiveness. Yes, the instrument is my tongue. Never has there been a more powerful mirror of the human heart. Yes, the tongue is a window into the heart of a person. At any given moment the mouth speaks as the tongue flaps against its gums and all at once reveals either the beauty or the darkness of what is in the person’s heart.
The tongue is the bottom line on the news channel that continually scrolls all of the latest breaking news going on in the human heart. Breaking news: tongue reveals deep seated anger as Jeff lashes out at fellow driver on HWY 223. Breaking news: deep compassion breaks out as Jeff’s tongue reveals his broken heart over a hurting loved one.
All day long this ticker reveals the condition of the heart through the blessings and cursing of the tongue.
A Prayer to Pray:
O God, what contradictions exist in the wellspring of my soul. I cannot run and hide, though I try, but my tongue betrays me. I try to hide much of the ugliness that exists in my heart by keeping it under the cover of silence, but oh, this tongue of mine is full of looseness. And Father, loose lips sink great ships. I confess the contradictions, not only of my tongue, but more deeply in my heart. Please forgive me Lord when I bless you while almost in the same breath curse people who are made in your image. Please purify the springs of my heart that they might flow with the fresh and pure water of your grace and mercy and love and compassion and kindness towards others. Let your glory rule my heart so that the overflow of my lips will bless your name AND my fellow man. To You be the glory in the name of Jesus and through the power of the Spirit. Amen!
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