Taming the Tongue

     In our current series from the book of James, a sober warning is given by James concerning the responsibility of teachers. Teachers have the privilege to exert influence over trusting students, a relationship that makes the students vulnerable to serious error. Therefore, the teacher is held to a strict accountability for what he or she teaches. This strict judgment should restrain teachers from careless words, as the tongue of the teacher can be a devastating pearl. Moms and Dads who teach their children are also held to a stricter judgment. What I am saying is that you are going to stand before God and be responsible and accountable for what you teach and how you influence, and what you fail to teach and fail to influence. Our words weigh a thousand pounds. Often we misappropriate words which is the sign of an untamed tongue. Cheap shots, gossip, repeating of rumors, trash talk, all are signs of an untamed tongue. With one breath we bless someone, with another breath we curse someone. Out of the same mouth comes cursing and blessing. Our message here is that we speak carefully and selectively with few words, speaking words that glorify God and not curse God.

     Do you find that the slip of the tongue is commonplace for you? Is it easy for you to entertain information that really equates to gossip, or cheap shots at others, dismissing an unkind remark by saying, "I was only kidding"? These are serious allegations and misappropriations of words. They are signs of an untamed tongue. Let us all take seriously the words that King Solomon wrote, "The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit" (Prov. 18:4, 21).