Tongue of Fire

 
Spending some quality time in the book of James last night and this morning.  James is a good place to be when you’ve done harm to someone in your life due to quick anger and an out of control tongue.  I’ve seen God use my little mustard seed faith to move mountains in my life already, so I expect that he will move this one as well.  Our marriage and family relationships are most often the relationships that test our faith and character.  This was true for me yesterday, and I failed the test.  Miserably.  Locked up and shut down on my wife, then projectile vomited my anger and frustration on my daughter.  Not a good combination.  So if you read what I write on a regular basis, just know that many of the things I write about are things I continue to struggle with myself.  Thank God for progress, not perfection. 
 
Which brings me into James.  For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.   Amen to that!!   At least, my little part of “we all” stumbles in many ways.   I certainly do stumble in what I say far too often, disqualifying myself from the perfect man competition.  

If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.  James continues with the horse illustration started above, some of you understand this better than I.  But we can all understand what is being said, we’ve at least seen the rider guiding the horse by the bit in his mouth.  Sure enough, the body usually follows.


Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.   Our tongues are indeed a very small part of the body, but it’s amazing how we will follow it’s lead.  It can lead us into fights, it can lead us into friendship.  It can bring us into port, it can steer us out to sea.  We can use it to speak life into those around us, we can use it to suck the life right back out of the same people.  

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.   You can burn a hundred thousand acres with a tiny match and a couple pieces of newspaper.  That fire will just keep spreading.  When we start a fire, we can and will get burned in that fire.  If we start a fire with our tongues, we can burn our entire lives up.  Keep this in mind – the people James was writing to in this letter REALLY feared fire.  They needed it, couldn’t live without it.  But if it went out of control, they were in trouble.  There was no 911 to call.  It was very difficult, nearly impossible, to bring a blaze under control before it burned up all they had.  Just as fire started with the tongue can be difficult to bring back under control.   How will I avoid being burned by the fire started with my own tongue?   Better not to start it at all…




“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.”
‭‭James‬ ‭3:1-6 ‭ESV‬‬

 

 
 
 
 
 

John Lewis

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2 thoughts on “Tongue of Fire

  1. amen and amen Brother!!
    whew
    Spirit n Flesh DMZ

    I myself am in ER w panic attacks instead of peacefully parsing scripture

    so I HEAR ya!

    Blessings

    He will turn THIS to good TOO!!!

    kathy

    Liked by 1 person

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