James 3:1-12

The tongue…again.

“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing we shall receive a stricter judgment.”

Why is this sentence here preceding an oncoming avalanche of warnings about how destructive our tongue can be?

Perhaps because as a teacher (parents and spouses, we teach our kids and one another right?), your tongue can build up, edify, inform, inspire and educate but it can also corrupt, and:

“The tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity…it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell…but no man can tame the tongue.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

Ok, so this passage is directed in context to those Jews who thought teaching would be a fine profession.  It is!  However, when we teach we are held to a higher standard because of the calling and platform to multiply our words that we are given.

In our personal lives we all teach, someone like a child, spouse, friend, et al. Our tongue which is simply a reflection of our heart speaks either life or death…daily!  Remember, we can’t be gossiping, slandering, angry and bitter and also hopeful and helpful to ourselves or others if our tongue is running wild.  Fresh water and bitter water can’t come from the same spring.

Today, let’s choose to say something positive about the one person or situation that irritates us the most.  Let your faith extend to sharing blessings and kindness where before you have been attacking and undermining.  Then, watch God return to you the same grace and mercy, “pressed down, shaken together and overflowing!”