When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

James 3:3-4
When I was in the third grade, some of my classmates decided they would point out that I was different from them. They encircled me and chanted, “RETARD, RETARD, RETARD” at me, giving me a fear of being perceived as mentally handicapped to wrestle with the rest of my life. They meant to harm, not nearly as much as they did that day. It was a careless, kinda malicious whim that they all acted on without any thought of the hurt or long-term struggle it would cause me. Our words just might be the thing they most dread or we may inadvertently hurt people. Conversely, God will have us say something to others that, unbeknownst to us, may be the perfect thing they needed to hear. We often don’t realize the magnitude of our words. Our words are very small momentary things compared to our entire lives, likewise, the ship’s rudder is also a very small thing compared to the entire ship. In both cases, carelessness can have ruinous effects.
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.
James 3:5-6
Reigning in a wild tongue is no easy task because it is the natural outcome of pride, thinking of yourself and not others. Pride is the easiest sin to commit because it is the most natural for fallen humanity. Humility is seeing yourself as God sees you, his precious unique child, but one of many. Humility is also esteeming others higher than ourselves and realizing that our Heavenly Father loves his other children just like he loves us.
It looks like our tongue can cause a lot of trouble for ourselves and others, doesn’t it? How can we learn to control our tongues? Hallelujah, all things are possible with our God. The Spirit is our helper to overcome all the power of the enemy. Although we cannot tame our tongues by ourselves, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
The Lord spoke reality into existence with words and he now speaks words of love and wisdom for us in the scripture, which sustain us. Let’s be as careful as we can to imitate our Father and speak life-giving love to quench a world on fire.
Jonathan Duncan

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