Those who know me know how much I enjoy the book of James. For me it is an inspirational, in your face, book. It is straight forward in its commentary on how we should live our lives. Today's reading is no exception.
Today's reading regards controlling one's tongue. The power of speech is one of the greatest powers God has given us. With one's tongue, one can praise God, pray, preach the Word, and lead the lost to Christ. This is a great thing!! But with the same tongue one can tell lies or spread gossip that can ruin a person's reputation or break a person's heart. The ability to speak words is the ability to influence others and accomplish great tasks; yet we take this ability for granted and sometimes without the proper respect.
Alright, so how bad can improper use of this great gift and tool be? How bad can using it without thinking be? Have you ever said anything that you wish you could take back? I know I have. And even though we apologize and say we take it back, the damage is done, isn't it? James compares the tongue to a raging fire. The uncontrolled tongue can do terrible damage. To me James' analogy reminds me that words are like fire - you can neither control nor reverse the damage they can do.
So what are we to do? Someone told me this a while ago and I still remember it today. I do not always practice it but I try. Before you speak ask yourself the following questions, Is what I am about to say true? Is it necessary to be said? Is it kind? If the answer to all three questions is not yes, then examine if it needs to be said before you say it. I do not always, and some might say often, practice this, but I try. It is helpful to me and I commend it to you.
Wishing you the best in your walk with Christ,