The Untamable Tongue

Devotional // August 11, 2020 //

The Christian walk is one we embark on every day as a believer in Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us we are to live as Christ – in holiness. We all know to live holy can not be attained in humanity except by Jesus Himself. I, as a redeemed man, bought by the blood of Christ, live a life that is different from someone who does not have the Spirit of the living God in them. I must remind myself of this everyday. I have God in me. Does the world around me see God in me? 

This morning I was studying James 3:1-12. It was captioned The Untamable Tongue. It speaks of a bridle in a horse’s mouth turning him, a small rudder turning a large ship, and a small fire devouring a great forest. These metaphors are so true of the tongue. With just a few unkind words, lives are changed forever. With untrue words, relationships are broken and testimonies ruined. With harsh words, dreams are crushed. With deceitful words, families are broken and marriages dissolved. 

Looking back, I have said things I wish I would have given more thought before speaking them, or would have been more kind when speaking them. Sometimes we just can’t express words or feelings in their true intent. How many times have you sent an email that was misconstrued and you thought “that was never my intent”? But, there are times when we have said things just to gouge someone or make sure “we came out on top”. As a believer this should never be. All words and statements begin with the intent of the heart. Do I love God and my neighbor more than myself? 

Sometimes words do just come out the wrong way… are you then humble enough to correct yourself and ask forgiveness? I think all of us should approach our words just like a young child crossing the road. Always watching, and then look again before we cross. As believers in Christ we are not of this world, but we are in it. Speech is part of everyday life. Interacting with others daily is essential as we work, play, raise our families or as we just live life. Our words can be so uplifting to others. They can encourage and strengthen. They can help build confidence in character. They can help someone press on when feeling overwhelmed. But most of all they can reflect Christ living in us. 

You know, a kind word with concern almost always opens a door to be able to share the love of Jesus Christ with someone. James 3:8 states,” but no man can tame the tongue”. I know that is true, but I also believe that ”greater is He who lives in me than he who lives in the world”. Christ in me tempers my speech. He encourages me to speak words with kindness, not words that tear down. He tells me “soft words turn away anger”. He tells me to “love my neighbor as myself”. Jesus Christ strengthens me to do what is right. James 3:9-10 talks about blessings and cursings coming from the same mouth and states “these things ought not to be so”. 

James states that fresh water and salt water cannot come from the same spring. We as believers are different. We are called to live as Christ. So let us begin today by walking in what we know….Christ lives in me. He has changed my life, so the things I say should be worthy of the Christ who lives in me. 

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About Russell Amanns

Russ has been a life-long member of First Baptist Powell. He and his wife Tracy have been married over 30 years with three children. Russ is a 1986 graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Finance, and he is very active in our Prayer and Greeter Ministries.