Small but Mighty
Verse 5 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.
We have seen some of the ways we need to be mindful of our words and today we continue looking at the tongue and the danger it can be in our spiritual life.
Have you ever thought about your tongue? It is relatively small compared to our hands or legs. It is an active part of our body as it can’t even take the night off or we would choke on our saliva or drool it all over our pillow. It helps us eat, swallow, taste, clean something out of our teeth and of course it helps us talk. How can something so small cause us such big problems?
James uses two things that his readers would have understood to help them see the power of this small but mighty muscle. Like them, we need to know the truth of the tongue so that we can know how important it is to watch our words. All of us can likely think of a time that we should have kept our tongue in check but didn’t. We tend to react verbally in emotional situations and that doesn’t serve us well. Especially in regards to being a reflection of Christ.
There may also be times where we should speak up and fail to do so which leads to hurt feelings or maybe even someone doing something that we could have warned them against. This can cause just as much trouble as speaking too much or too harshly. If we hold back when we should speak up we aren’t showing the love that we should be towards them.
One thing we need to remember is that today our fingers are an extension of our tongues. We live in a time when our words are typed more than spoken. How often do you see comments on social media and wonder if the person would have said that if they had been face to face with the person? Sure we can delete our comments but once they have been posted you can be sure that at least one person saw it before it was removed.
This small muscle has the power to tear down or build up. Jesus said how we use it shows the truth of our heart (Luke 6:45).
Making It Personal
What do the words that come from your mouth say about you? How about the words that you type? Do these words come from a healthy spiritual heart?
Making It Personal Kids
How can your tongue get you in trouble? Have your mom or dad ever told you to be careful of what you say? How can you use your tongue for good?
Father, we confess the many times our words have caused You grief. Give us wisdom to know how to rein in our tongues. In Jesus’ name, amen.