- Nothing is as hard to control as our tongues. We can control large horses and huge ships but our tongues present quite the challenge. “People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue.” (James 3:7, NLT)
- The proof is in our tongues. James reminds us our tongues can do great damage, “set a forest on fire” (verse 5) or speak blessing (verse 9). “The proof that you have God’s Spirit in your life is not that you speak in an unknown tongue, but that you know how to control the tongue that you do know about.” (J Sudlow Baxter)
- Mere human effort will not control our tongues. When both blessing and cursing come from our mouths, we are hindered in our ability to build up community. Others will not know what to expect from us and therefore, will not trust us. It truly will take a work of the Holy Spirit. Only a transformed heart produces a transformed tongue.
- We show our wisdom. Wisdom is to be an action, one we do and live out each day. “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds.” (James 3:17, NLT) A good question to ask ourselves is … Are we “reaping a harvest of righteousness?” (verse 18)
- Look at the harvest. In reading this chapter in The Message, I discovered … “By our speech we can 1) ruin the world 2) turn harmony into chaos 3) throw mud on a reputation 4) send the whole world up in smoke.” Getting along with one another, day after day, year after year will take hard work. I found this bit of wisdom as well from The Message > ” Live well, live wisely, live humbly.” In so doing, we will reap the blessings.
Let’s turn our hearts and tongues over to the only One able to help us control it.
And reap a harvest of righteousness.