The third chapter of the book of James has a lot to say about your words and how dangerous they can be. If we allow our words to come out of our mouth unchecked, serious damage may follow. Emotions fueled by the devil often cause those with little self-control to spew toxic embers that threaten to set the whole situation ablaze.
“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.” James 3:5 (NIV)
Try as we might, in certain situations, when we feel like we’re being backed into a corner, our words can explode in a flurry of thoughtless venom. Sometimes when we are emotionally hurt, we tend to immediately strike back with words intended to settle the score.
“No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8 (NIV)
Like a sharp knife that can be used to prepare a meal or terrorize a helpless victim, your tongue is used for both good and evil. One moment you may be bringing peaceful calm to a hurting friend with gentle words of encouragement, and the next you could be using that same tongue to slander the person who caused your friend’s pain. It’s not uncommon for someone to pray a heartfelt prayer at a church meeting and later curse his neighbor out in the parking lot.
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” James 3:9 (NIV)
Your words can be used to burn down your house or bring a lasting peace. Precisely how you speak to your family members, friends, and everyone you come into contact with, is a measure of how close you are to God. Vicious attacks cannot be released from your mouth while standing in the presence of the Lord. Whatever your situation is, God is in control, and your cursing will change nothing. We all need to consider carefully the words we use. We all need to take hold of the lessons learned in the Bible and speak in a manner that would make God proud.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13 (NIV)
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