O That Pesky Tongue!

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Perhaps nothing better illustrates James 1:26 and James 3:1-12 than recent events in England. A nurse committed suicide after having been deceived by two Australian DJs into giving information on the health of the Duchess of Cambridge to a person she thought was Queen Elizabeth.

Apparently the DJs are devastated. Certainly a whole lot less devastated than the husband, two children and family and friends of the nurse.

It was a ploy to get a news story and it took a woman’s life.

James 1:26 introduces a subject that the author will continue in detail in chapter 3. He writes: “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is in vain.”

The DJs never imagined that a woman would take her life because of what they did with their tongues. We often never think about the consequences of our words. Someone recently said that the Lord gave us two ears and one mouth, signifying that we ought to listen twice as much as we talk. And when we do talk, we need to be careful what we say and how we say it. As James will write in chapter 3, “...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. My brothers, this should not be” (James 3:8-10).

One of the prayers of our morning watch should be: “Lord, set a guard on my tongue that I will use it as an instrument to bless, not as a sword to wound and curse.”

We can't take words back—or the consequences of what those words have done.

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