There is much in the Word of God relating to the tongue. From James 3:1-12, we see how the tongue, as small as it is, has such a profound effect. It is like a bit in a horse’s mouth, like the rudder of a ship and like the flame of a single match that is able to set a forest ablaze.
It is amazing how easily words, which we later regret, tend to come out of our mouths! For that matter, it is not only the spoken but also the written words which fall under this category – particularly in this age of texting and posting. All of these forms of communication, for our purposes, can be considered the tongue.
What is it that controls our tongue? How can it be that, as James writes in verses 9-11, “From the same mouth come both blessings and curses?”
Are we hearing indications of what is in our heart?
One way to know is to notice what comes out of our mouth when we are under pressure or when we are experiencing inner turmoil.
According to James (Ya’akov), the possibility for total destruction is great. He writes the following in verse six: “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the members of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
Once again, what is it that controls the tongue? If our heart dwells in the peace of God, His favor and wisdom will come out of our mouth. We will not speak words meant to simply please man. We will operate in the times and seasons set before us for God’s purposes in our lives and the lives of others!
If we are in conflict or turmoil, not filled with the Spirit of God, we may find ourselves slowly looking and acting more and more like those in the world. Has the Body of Messiah drifted into this pattern? Are we seeing only defects? Do we only see other people’s weaknesses? Do we gather together in fellowship, only for what we will get for ourselves, or are we there to offer worship to the Lord in Spirit, in truth, and in unity? What is the true motivation of our heart?
As James 3:11-12 says, let us be aware of the power of the tongue for evil and for good, so we will not find ourselves becoming a spring that brings forth salt water and not fresh water.
When you are thirsty, do you want someone to give you a cup of salty ocean water? Have you ever accidentally tasted ocean water while swimming in the waves? Only fresh water can satisfy thirst. As God used His words to create new and beautiful things, may we also use our words to bring forth good.