James 3:5-7 (AKJV)
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Many years ago I was a Boy Scout. Well really I was a Webelow which is a junior boy scout, but that is not the point. While I was a Webelow they taught us about campfire safety. The procedure for eliminating a campfire is to douse it with water and then cover it with dirt, to cut off the fuel to the fire or the oxygen. This was the only surefire way to make sure the fire would not flare up again. Smokey the Bear says that only you can prevent forest fires, this is done by following the process of putting it out. Often times when there is a large forest fire, it is discovered that it started with a little flame. A little flame grew into a home destroying, family displacing fire.
When you analyze the process of putting out a campfire you see that they use water first, but shouldn’t that be enough. Why put the dirt on it, why smother it?
In the above verse the bible is describing the tongue and its effect on all the persons and things around us. It makes it clear that the tongue although small, has a great deal of power. I believe we underestimate the power of the tongue and the effect our words have on our relationships. The bible tells us to “study to be quiet”. This implies that you have to learn how to shut or control your mouth. I am always amazed at the level of respect we give to strangers at work and then go home and curse out your spouse, in a sense set our home on fire. Maybe you don’t curse, but do you say kind words to the one who has pledged their life and love to you. I could stop now and I would have said enough but I believe that the power of the tongue and the destruction it can cause warrants some instructions on how to put the fire out.
If you desire to tame your tongue here are some suggestions:
- Change your perception of who you are talking to. Remember they are a child of the King
- Douse your mouth with water (which is the word of God) find those scriptures dealing with the tongue.
- You must cover the fire, this means that we must guard our eyes and ears to protect what goes in and what comes out. Additionally, we should find examples of Godly communication, the bible is filled with pleasing words.
Remember only you can prevent forest fires. Now That’s A Word!