“With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.” vss. 9-10
James understands the power of the tongue. He says that it is like a fire, a small part of our body, yet capable of inflicting enormous damage, but he doesn’t give any hints about how it can be controlled. He points out the problem, says that the same mouth should not both bless and curse, and then leaves it up to the reader to figure out what to do. We know what he’s talking about. We’ve all been the victims of “loose lips” and wagging tongues–and chances are we’ve also been on the other side too. We say hurtful and demeaning things even to the people we’ve sworn to love. And we can’t seem to find a way out of the dilemma. We try biting our tongues, but they’re so resilient. Even after being bitten they will lash out with even greater insults, words specially chosen to wound and destroy. It could be that with the passage of time our tongues can be trained and directed to be more loving and healing, to offer more blessings than curses, but it’s not a guarantee. Slips of the tongue seem to continue as long as we have breath to speak. But so do those opportunities to offer words of love and affection! Our task is to learn to use those additional days to loose our tongues for goodness’ sake–it’s hard, but it can be done!
Thought for the Day: How am I using my tongue these days?