This Day in History: 0000-04-27

April 27 – James 3:3-12 

We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. 
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. 

There is no doubt, the tongue is powerful. Those of us hurting in the wake of betrayal likely know the sting of its bite. It’s rare to find a story of healing that doesn’t include the nasty and unfeeling words of those who either lack empathy, have no compassion, or are just plain mean-spirited. But as we work through all those terrible things, we have to be careful ourselves!  

There’s a saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” But we don’t have to follow the patterns of this world. We have the Holy Spirit of the Living God within us! While we need to recognize that no person can tame the tongue in her own power, we also know that with God, all things are possible.  

We do want to set some forests on fire with the sparks from our tongue, but not with the flames from the fires of hell. Rather, we want the Holy Spirit, and His tongues of holy fire to consume the words that pour from our mouths and make them His own. We want our words to ignite cleansing fires that heal and restore. We want to spark passion for the things of God! My friends, these wonderful things are never going to happen as long as our words are our own. 

May we surrender today to the power of God in our lives and ask Him to take over and tame every word that comes from our mouths. May He bubble up within us fresh springs of living water that pour out His cleansing truth, and His consuming love as we lift our praises to Him – uncorrupted by curses.