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Taming the terrible tongue
Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! —James 3: 5
Oh, the damage the tongue can do! Such a little thing, and yet it can cause so much heartache. James tells us that when given over to a destructive purpose, the tongue can be “set on fire from hell” (3: 6). He further tells us that an endless number of beasts can be tamed, but “no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (3: 8). How many wars have begun because of the tongue? How many people have had their reputation destroyed because of gossip? How many hearts have been broken?
**How many lives have been shattered—all because of the tongue?
It is wrong to use the tongue for purposes other than what God intended, and it is wrong to use the tongue inconsistently—to use the same mouth to bless God and curse our brothers who were made in the likeness of God. There is so much potential for harm in the tongue. Yet conversely, the tongue can also bring much hope and comfort. It can encourage, strengthen, and reassure. It can remind others that they matter to God. It can share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a dying world. If you use the tongue in the way God intended, you can build others up and spur them on to good works. You can bring salvation to the lost. May God help us to use our tongues in ways that bring Him much glory.
Father, help us to guard our tongue, and use our words to bless and not curse, to build up and not destroy. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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