Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

The tongue – little member, huge effect

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”

James 3:5-6

Someone once said: “Watch out for the tongue! It is so wet and slippery, that you can easily slip!” A little match can ignite a huge forest fire! What destruction and damage it can cause! Right at the commencement, of chapter 3 of his letter, James shows us two further examples of how small things can move huge things. Firstly, there is the bridle which, in the mouth of a horse, directs its entire body. Hence, the instruction to hold his tongue. And secondly, a steering-rudder, which, in comparison to the ship, is very small. It nevertheless directs the huge ship. Our tongue is concealed in our mouths behind two rows of teeth and two lips. What an effect it nevertheless has! Do we always think about it? A spoken word cannot be retracted! Even when it just “slipped out”! Haven't we, at some stage or another, wanted to bite our tongues in order to take back a quick or wrong or hurtful spoken word? Through the fall of man, we lost the power over this tiny member. We can use it for good and also for evil.

Only with the Lord's help it is possible to control this member! James exhorts us in extensive detail, in the scriptures which follow, concerning the characteristics of the tongue. It is worthwhile to read them in this context. Every animal can be tamed. Only a small amount of poison is sufficient to kill a person. Few words are sufficient to do harm to another person. We ourselves don't have “control” over our tongues. With the same tongue we praise GOD and curse people (Psalm 141:3). Can a spring pour out sweet and bitter water? Can a fig tree bear olives and an olive tree figs? There is always only one! Let us ask the Lord to “lead and control” our tongues, in accordance with His will, daily. Someone once wrote: “A believer should be: How God wants him to be, do as God expects of him, speaks as is pleasing to God, behave as God requires and share his possessions with others”. True spiritual maturity encompasses all aspects of human life!

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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