Recently at South Bay we held another leaders advance meeting that we have several times a year to come together as leaders. We share stories of what God is doing in the lives of people in our church and vision for the future. Andy spoke for a few minutes tonight from James chapter 3 about the tongue and how the language we use at South Bay is indicative of the culture we have adopted as a body. It was very personally challenging and inspiring to me.
James in the Bible has a lot to say about the tongue. He uses 3 metaphors in a row illustrating how something so small can have a huge influence over something so big.
1. A spark starting a fire in the forest
2. A bit in the mouth of a horse
3. A rudder steering a ship
Each of these represent something very large who’s behavior (for lack of a better term) is determined by something so tiny. Each of them also have potential to destroy things in their path. To follow these metaphors I start thinking about who is in my path. Who might I hurt if my tongue is out of control? How is my tongue influencing my life and those around me?
It’s amazing to me that James says in verse 3:2 that a man who is never at fault in what he says is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. Why is that? Is it because the speech can be the most impulsive of all our behaviors? This verse is really about self control. If you get your tongue under control, then the rest of you probably already is.
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
I can do so much good or so much harm depending on how I choose to speak to people and about people.
Often I hear a good message but don’t get specific with my applications. One application of this for me is going to be to focus on the first few moments when David comes home from work. Isn’t it amazing how those moments can have such an impact on the rest of the evening in either a good or bad way? No matter how busy I am or how my day has gone or if the baby is crying, I can choose to focus in on him and use my words to bring life and comfort and peace in our home.