Watch Your Mouth!
The Bible speaks of the tongue and the mouth. These references teach about being careful concerning the words we use, and our speech. James 3 uses illustrations to show how dangerous words are, and how difficult it is to control them. What is this danger? What does the Bible say?
- Bit in a horses’ mouth. “Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.” (James 3:3) If you can control your words, you can control the rest of your body.
- Rudder of a ship. “Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.” (James 3:4) While small, the tongue is powerful and influential.
- A wildfire. “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.” (James 3:6) A few careless words, like a careless spark, can have devastating consequences.
- An untamed animal. “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue.” (James 3:7-8a) When we think we have control of our mouth, we must still be aware of the danger of an idle word.
- Deadly poison. “It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8b) Like a snake, our words can deliver venom that harms the hearer.
Be aware of the danger of words. Jesus brought words of eternal life. (John 6:68) Let’s study together to know and obey the word of God.