How often do our words singe someone? In James 3:5-6 the scripture reads, “Likewise, 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. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.“
That’s a lot of power for a part of the body we rarely recognize. There is much talk about the heart, the lungs, the brain, the kidneys, but the tongue? However, look at what power the tongue has. And just as the scriptures say, the tongue may be small and insignificant but OH! how it boasts. Like a forest fire, the tongue has the ability to corrupt the whole body.
One of my prayers every morning is the ability to guard my tongue. I ask God to give me His voice – a voice that speaks words of value, admiration, encouragement, compassion, and kindness to those I encounter on a daily basis – my spouse, my children, my co-workers, the people I interact with at the office, in the church, on the street, anyone who comes across my path during the day.
My dad taught me the 3 second rule of response. Basically, before I speak, think it through for 3 seconds. It may make the person I am communicating with uncomfortable, but I’m sure it has saved me from the foot in the mouth disease many times. Consider what you are going to say, before you say it. In today’s society, we must consider texting and social media. When you are angry or out-of-sorts, hold those fingers back from blasting someone through email or texting. Words can hurt – not only the person we are viciously delivering them to – but also ourselves.
The only fire I want on my tongue is the kind that comes from eating too much spicy food – which I love, by the way.
What about you?