“And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell.” James 3: 6 (Revised Standard Version)  Often times we forget the power of our tongue. From the fall of man our tongue has inherently been set on fire by hell. There’s nothing we can do to change that, however the tongue can give life when we use it right. In school, my contemporaries and I often used a few silly expressions here and there that I question today.  Examples are “I have died” , “my own has finished”; we  just said them then, as expressions (which they are to an extent), but knowing now how powerful my tongue is and  having the understanding that it carries the power of life and death, I refuse to speak anyhow. 

I have three questions for us today.

What are we saying about God?

What are we saying about ourselves?

What are we saying about others?

What are we saying about God? Is He someone we just have to follow His “rules”? Or is He our Heavenly Father, the creator of the universe? The author and finisher of our Faith? We use our tongue when we bless the Lord and sing praises to him, yet we use this same tongue to rain curses and insults on other men, James urges us in the following text that it ought not to be this way. “With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.” James 3: 9-10. RSV

When we do this, it really questions our blessings to God in the first place, are they genuine?  “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish?” James 3:11 RSV I urge us today to take a moment and look inward, and ask “how have I been speaking about God?.”

Secondly, what we are saying about ourselves? This is very important. Do we speak positively into our lives? Or are we always criticizing ourselves, our potential and our abilities? A good practice is to speak positive confessions into our day and speak into our lives. It can be the first thing in the morning after we wake up.  Whether we are studying for an exam or preparing for a job interview, anything whatsoever, speak positively, you are a success not a failure. We should not allow things to be over before they start; “We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” Numbers 13:33 NLT. Speaking negatively usually makes things all the more difficult and such negative things could become manifest.

And finally what are you saying about others? Are you the one with a foul mouth, do you bless God and then curse men? Or do you take time to speak words of positivity and encouragement into people’s lives. It is not always easy, for instance, in what we refer to as road rage. It is very easy to ask another driver “are you alright” or throw a couple of insults their way while driving. It’s not easy to control our tongue, this is why we need Jesus, because we cannot do it by our own strength. Let us ask for grace to control our tongue. It holds life and death. It is such a powerful tool that if left unchecked will wreck a lot of havoc. In chapter 5, James compares the power of the tongue to how a forest is set ablaze by a small fire. This is a perfect comparison, as small as our tongue is, it can corrupt our whole body, it can set fire to another person’s forest – or even our own! “But no human can tame the tongue – a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8 (RSV)

I will close on this note, the Heaven and Earth were created through words and speech. God said “Let there be” and there was. We are not God, but we are His children, we can speak to Him to give us the grace to tame our tongue.

I pray that we shall all receive grace to tame our tongue.


The Revolutionary Righter.©