How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And ithe tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, jstaining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,1 and set on fire by hell.2 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, kfull of deadly poison. 9 With itwe bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people lwho are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,3 these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and saltwater? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Today’s excerpt is not the FIRST time we have reference from James, nor the first time we have spoken on the tongue. However, our home group this month has been working through “Right Now” media and the study of James with Francis Chan, and last Tuesday these verses just jumped out at me. Prior to verse 5 James is clear in describing the BIT in the horses mouth and the SMALL rudder controlling a ship’s steering and direction as related to the MOUTH and a man’s ability to build others up or tear others down with his words. James continues here to explain how absolutely ridiculous it is to at one moment sing praises to God and the next, curse our brother.
Is this for only me?
For EVERY KIND of beast and bird and creature can be tamed but catch this.. NO HUMAN BEING CAN TAME THE TONGUE.
Oh how I wish to prove this wrong… yet, God’s WORD does not fail or falsify…
So what’s Jame doing? Just breaking us down again and again to remind us of our inadequacies? Just tormenting us with the truth that the ONLY PERFECT MAN was Jesus and we will not get there until Heaven?
It’s about our very NATURE…. image bearers of GOD, neighbors to the lost, friends of the enemy, witnesses to CHRIST… for we KNOW… a fresh water spring cannot pump SALT WATER… the very same as a redeemed brother in Christ I CANNOT LIVE UNCHRIST-LIKE! THE 2 DO NOT GO TOGETHER.. Can a fig tree bear olives?
A grapevine produce figs?
Are not the absolute indicators of our faith in GOD clearly shown by our words to others? Our mouths hold the VERY KEYS to the Kingdom of God yet we CHOOSE to live a heretics wielding unhealthy words and whirling nasty tongues. A good friend of mine Steve, would often describe the heart as a VERY DEEP WELL of nasty water… it takes a long time of pumping OUT the nasty before the clean water can settle in and STAY CLEAN.
Let’s be conscientious today of our words… of EVERY WORD we use.. Let’s be the clean water well that so much of the world today needs. Let’s use our mouths to build up others and spread God’s message of restoration and repair. YOU CHOOSE TO PROJECT LOVE or project something else! I choose we project love !