It’s amazing how little things can do so much damage. Think of termites. Only millimeters long, but packed full of trouble. The amount of destruction that a little insect can make is unbelievable. Thousands of dollars are spent to get rid of these little critters, to replace ruined goods or to repair what has already been damaged.
The same is true with the tongue. At least this is true for me, I really don’t know about you.
The book of James has always been one of my favorite books. Maybe it’s the writing style that pulls me in. Maybe it’s the flow of words that entice me. Or maybe it’s because he speaks so much on the tongue and the need to control it.
“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth.“
We all know how an unkind word can linger in our hearts for years to come. In fact, I remember when I was six a certain uncle made a comment about me eating too many crackers and to this day I feel the sting.
I struggle with my tongue. Small it may be, big is the ruination it causes. My words can be used for good to encourage a friend in need, or for bad to tear down my husband in a heated moment.It truly can be like a weapon of mass destruction. When I use my tongue to criticize my husband in front of the kids, not only do I deflate him, I show my girls that he is not worthy of respect and love.
When I hold back my mouth from speaking a word of encouragement to a friend in need because I simply “don’t have time for a phone call”, I lose an opportunity to love someone in need of love and the ability to put things into perspective that I am not as busy as I think I am.
I fully believe God gives us the ability to overcome our tongues, I just haven’t submitted fully to the idea yet. It feels good to be mean, yell, snark. But there are two questions to ask myself when I feel the urge: 1. Who am I helping by saying this? 2. Is this truly God honoring? I already know the answer…
I’m not there yet. But I think the fact that I want to be is a start. I prayerfully continue to entreat Him and ask Him to help me. In the mean time, I am so thankful that I have a husband that forgives 70 times 7. And children who see the good in me, despite the bad.
Written October 19, 2014