February 24, 2007

James 3:5-6  “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.  Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth.  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth he whole bdy, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and is set on fire of hell.”

It’s a Saturday morning and I came out here with nothing particular to write on until just a moment ago.  Here in the electronic world of the blogosphere, we can write, edit, rewrite, and if if still doesn’t flow we can either delete it or place it into the ever-lengthening collection of partially completed drafts.  It doesn’t really become an issue until published.  And even then we can go back in and edit.  I will do this at times if there haven’t been any comments yet.  Once someone comments are on it though, I leave it as to not nullify the comments.  I may tend to a grammerical error, but the content, at that point has become part of a dialogue and will remain intact.  (Unless it’s a really serious error that would lead astray. Then an explanation would be added)

Real life is a little more complicated in that, once words go forth, they’re out there.  I find it amazing how politicians will scramble for a camera at every opportunity.  I know that they have an agenda to fulfil and a constiuency to represent, however, each time that one goes before a camera, they risk making a less than flattering comment that forever becomes synonamous with them.  Such statements include: (these are not necessarly word for word but they get the point across)

“This means peace in our time” (Neville Chamberlain)

“Read my lips; No new taxes.”  (George Bush 41)

“I did not inhale” (Bill Clinton)

“Either you’re with us, or you’re with the terrorists” (George Bush 43.  Few people recognize the inherit danger associated with this statement)

“I actually voted for the war; before I voted against it” (John Kerry)

“Otherwise; you get stuck in Iraq” (John Kerry again)

One could spend their time in nothing else but to record and display the untimely comments of others. The more often that one exposes themselves, the greater the risk of providing fodder for David Letterman and Jay Leno.  Nonetheless, they go on; jockeying for advantage, pandering to contributers, pandering to whatever needs to be pandered to in order to further their ambitions.  When a misstep is made in the arena of speech, the individual will often apolagize in a variety of places or explain what they really meant to say, but by then, it’s in the atmosphere and every atempt to downplay it serves only to amplify it. 

James 3:8  “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

This should be a stern warning to us all to watch the words that we utter.  To thouroughly examine that which is before us before passing an opinion based on a partial observation.  I have a great deal of respect for anyone who declares “I haven’t looked into that enough to form an opinion.”  Or better yet “I need to spend some time in the scriptures and in prayer before commenting.”  To be “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.”  It may not be popular in this age of instantaneous soundbytes, but it’s a path taken by those of understanding.  I have a great deal of respect when someone says “I don’t know.  I’ll look into it.” 

To know when to speak and when to be quiet is something that none of have a total grasp of.  I struggle with this issue at both extremes as I want to be obediant and speak truth to my neighbor, but don’t want to take a misstep that would only lead to scattering.  Knowing that souls are in the balance, and knowing the incredible power of words we all should give the utmost of attention to this.  This is something that I eventually want to post about, but here’s the scripture:

Matthew 12:30  “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

Our words and actions will either serve to draw folks to Jesus or scatter them farther away.  When I was in the navy, we had a chaplain who was as contrary as one can imagine to that which he claimed to represent.  I remember one night overhearing some guys talking.  Both were of the “partying” crowd, and yet one said to the other “Man, if I was going to be a christian, I would be one; I wouldn’t act like that chaplain.”  A guy who was of a riotous nature had a better grasp of this than did our chaplain.  Those who love the Lord Jesus in spirit and in truth will do everything to maintain a good testimony; both in word and deed.  

Matthew 10:19-20  “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it will be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”

This shows us the key to controlling the little member called a mouth.  Walk in the Spirit and remain close to the Lord Jesus at all times.  In ourselves, we cannot effectively control our words, but through Jesus Christ we have victory over this.  Words can slip out in the wrong order when we least expect it and we need to be always mindful of this.  I’ve done more than my share of scattering over the years as a result of comments or attitudes which were out of sorts.  Praise God for his mercy and that he is able to save us to the uttermost. 

I’m going to cut this short as I need to get some things done before my wife gets home and asks “what did you do this morning?  The house is a mess!”  This post involves a topic that we’re all very familiar of, but because of the intensity of the issue and the damage that can be done, it’s always good to think on it.  To keep our words and attitudes in check; being always mindful that both will be tried when we’re least expecting it.  I wish a great weekend to all. 

Proverbs 15:23  “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good it is.”



  1. May the Lord help us all to watch our words; both written and spoken! Sometimes I say way more than I should, sometimes not enough.

    Lord, grant us more grace to get it right, to keep our tongues submitted to the Holy Spirit in Jesus name! fingers too.
    How great a fire can be kindled with so few words. Now if it’s a fire for the Kingdom, yes and amen! But one that brings division, wounds someone, or dishonors our Saviour, God forbid

    Thank you for a good reminder timbob.
    May the Lord bless your weekend with your family!


  2. Surely the weakest area of my walk with Jesus. I tend to be verbose in words and in blogging. Oddly enough I can go hours without speaking and then the words come out in a rush. It is something to keep in prayer on a daily basis.

  3. Timbob, another good and vital word. The scripture warns us:

    But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37 (NKJV)


    Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)


    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

    Being a very verbal person, I seek the Lord concerning these things frequently.

    Thank you for your faithfulness unto the Lord and His Word.

    Blessings in Christ Jesus!

  4. another timely reminder. it ought to be a daily reminder for all of us. me included. thank you timbob and have a blessed week ahead!

  5. Yep we need to be reminded daily on this. I too had my problems with the tongue. I try to keep this little evil thing under control. But SOMETIMES you know I burned it too. Great Post TIMBOB
    In Christ Andrea

  6. Thank you for this post, timbob. Yes, I struggle with this problem as well. Here is my prayer:

    Lord Jesus, our Rock and our Redeemer, we know that what we say flows from what is in our hearts. (Luke 6:45). Please write Your love in the tablets of our hearts by the Spirit of the living God (2 Corin 3:2-3) so that the meditations of our hearts and the words of our mouth my always be pleasing to you (Psalm 19:14). Amen!

    P.S. I had to chuckle at the title you gave this post. It was perfectly ‘tongue-in-cheek’ for the topic. 😉

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