Bite Your Tongue

I knew what would happen but I did it anyway.

I mentioned that a certain person had called the office. The name prompted a discussion where information was shared that might have been true, but it certainly wasn't kind. I should have kept my mouth shut.

This morning's rebuke from James added to the mental "kick in the pants" I had already given myself that had the force of the Holy Spirit behind it. The tongue is a small but deadly instrument. It cuts, and it kills. So James warns his readers: "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person,sets the whole course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be" –James 3:3-10, NIV.

The trouble with the tongue is that what it produces comes from a mind and heart that need to be surgically altered by the Holy Spirit. Its evil is produced when we embrace anger, frustration, bitterness, a sense of superiority, and a host of other things that the Scriptures tell us to "put off" in order to "put on" things like kindness, love, patience, and all those things that are characteristics of someone who wants to be like Christ.

I have no excuse. And I am doubly condemned for what I did yesterday. James begins this section of his book by saying: "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" –James 3:1, NIV. I am one of those teachers. He confesses that no one is perfect and that we all stumble. "Accidents" will happen. What I did was not an accident–I knew what the result would be before I opened my mouth.

I should have bitten my tongue.

Comments

  1. I can SO relate to this. Biting the tongue is hard, but MAN is it important. Thanks for the reminder.

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