I’m guilty, we’re all guilty. No, not one of us are perfect. The Only One who was/is perfect is Jesus Christ. And He is our example of perfection in that we are to guard our tongue.
James 3 (KJV)
I went ahead and placed the whole chapter!
Why? Well, James makes comparisons.
- Horse-have you ever heard the verse, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”? I am a horse-lover! Besides the dog, a horse is my favorite animal. So majestic, and beautiful! But they also have great strength, speed, and graceful. My, oh my what grace and elegance. Although it is a symbol of power, it is docile. Sure, you have the wild side in every animal but when a master commands the horse, it follows.
- Imagine the rudder of a ship and its raging against the storm. The destruction of water is known worldwide and the seas evoke many emotions of the fierceness of a hurricane, or even just the gentle wave hitting the shore. Gentle winds bringing with it the fragrance of the invigorating fresh air. If you’ve lived near the ocean then you know that the view of an evening of stars combined with the ocean can be memories that last a lifetime.
- A ship on the ocean can be as helpless as a bird caught in a storm. So too, is the ship without a rudder. The slightest movement of the Captain’s hand on the wheel can maneuver into unseen depths of the ocean where rogue waves can crush it like a toy. So, we see that the wind can destroy the ship’s rigging, but the rudder guides the ship exactly as directed….even if it wasn’t intended to end up at its destination. The rudders below the stern are the tools necessary to control the ship against the fierceness of the wind.
The term “sharp tongue” comes into play as we consider this subject. Another term is “cut throat”…although this could mean a person will do what it takes to get what he wants…it could also mean sharp words.
It seems those closest to us get the brunt of these actions…people seem to take a bad day out on those nearest to us at the time and usually this is a family member. Spouting out nasty words, verbal commands, etc..can end up feeling like a slap in the face to the receiver.
You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all.
GOD holds us accountable for our actions, and this includes what we say!
James also refers to fire in this chapter. He wants us to capture the graphic vision of the potential of how words can destroy.
Then, we have the example given by Solomon who writes, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Proverbs 18 (KJV)
Words can be devastating…they can tear a heart apart.
The comparison also utilized is comparing the tongue to the most ferocious beast!
In my younger days, I lived in a time where when your mother thought you had said something inappropriate, you had your mouth washed out with soap!
Maybe we need this for today’s youth too!!
How much salt can you add to water before it is ruined?
Last week, I placed a statement on FACEBOOK:
Ephesians 4-says we are to speak the truth of love and use this to build one another up…not allowing rotten or destructive words to pour from our lips. Herein lies the discernment needed to season our words with salt. Salt purifies (germs cannot live in it) and by analogy we are to have salt in us and our words.
Sometimes GOD will have someone treat you in the exact manner in which you treated someone else as a learning experience!
If we look at others’ behavior, then we can learn to see ourselves. Instead we forget our own issues and spread nasty rumors….so sad.
Matthew 7 (KJV)
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
We must judge ourselves before we judge others. In fact, we must do our best to NOT judge others unless it’s how GOD intended and this is not the WWJD! What Would Jesus Do…
The world blinds our minds!
This reminds me of the article which I published this past Friday, (Good Friday) about the “Two Witnesses”…and the Sanhedrin.
The Sanhedrin priests were hypocrites. And Jesus Christ points this out to us here.
Defamation of Character
This was once attached to huge court battles. People would sue one another for “Slander” at the drop of a hat, but not so much anymore. Why? Well, this is a perfect “gossip” parallel.
Libel vs. Slander. Generally, a statement that is made in writing is libel, and an oral statement is slander. However, with increased internet usage, this line has become blurred. The focus now is on the “permanence” of the defamatory statement. For example, though instant messages are technically written statements, because of their transient nature they are arguably more akin to oral statements. Similarly, a “podcast” may be more like a written statement than an oral one because of the statement’s permanence and the ease with which is may be widely disseminated.
This distinction is important for establishing damages: the more permanent the statement, the more potentially harmful it is to the plaintiff in a defamation case – the greater the damages.
You can spread a rumor that can affect someone’s life…forever. And now with the internet where NOTHING disappears, this is even more true.
Facts vs. Opinion
For example, just because the defamatory speaker uses words like “I think” or “in my opinion” does not mean the statements were merely opinion.
There are NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS in gossip!
What’s the cause here?
Matthew 15 (KJV)
Our tongues and speech are controlled either by the devil or The Holy Spirit.
I personally know for a fact that when a person is drunk on booze, he can say and do things which are out of character.
When I was a drinker, I did and said things that I know I wouldn’t have do otherwise. I’m ashamed to admit it but it’s true.
There’s a reason why booze was once called “SPIRITS”.
Alcohol is derived from the Arabic work ‘al-kuhl’ meaning a body eating spirit. And ‘Al-ghawl’ is the base for the English word ‘ghoul’. These ghostly creatures are said to eat human flesh. So the theory goes that calling these drinks spirits is tied to the origins of the word alcohol itself.
During the distillation process as the mash turned to a clear liquid it was thought that the process was removing the spirit. Some say that many European whiskey makers still pour the first shot onto the ground to give the angels their fair share.
Some say it is called spirits because the beverages put you in good spirits, hence the name.
I firmly believe demons can and do direct your thoughts/actions/words.
The tongue is described as a world of iniquity that defiles the whole body. This means this little member can put the whole body under bondage. But, we must remember it is possible to tame the tongue.