The untamed tongue
Scripture reading for October 7th: Jeremiah 25, 35, 36, 45, Psalm 133, James 3
James 3: 6-10 “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. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. For the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
James understood from Jesus and from God’s holy Word the importance of unity. Jesus had prayed for unity, that His people would be one with He and the Father. By their love and unity and obedience, all men would be able to know that they were Jesus’ disciples. But James understood the tongue as well. Our tongue is connected to our hearts. Our flesh and its desires and passions cause the tongue to act like fire. A mean or hateful word spoken can set a whole family, city, or church or nation on fire. God’s people must allow the Holy Spirit to bridle their tongues and anoint hearts with Christ’s love and compassion. They must make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit and bond of peace through the anointing of the Spirit.
Psalm 133:1-2 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes.”
Prayer: Father God, I know the truth of my tongue’s unruly nature and thank You for Your mercy and forgiveness when I have spoken out of my flesh, frustration, or anger. Fill me with the Holy Spirit of God that my tongue might bless You and those to whom I am speaking. Let my words and my heart be acceptable in Your sight, bringing unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace.
Jeremiah 35:15-16 “I have sent you all My servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, ‘Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers.’ But you did not incline your ear or listen to Me. The sons of Recab have kept the command that their father gave them, but this people has not obeyed me.”