The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3: 6-8

Well… that’s a little intense, huh?

If you go to a busy mall and just sit and listen for a while, you will believe this passage. You will hear things that make you want to wash out your ears. And you’ll point your finger (maybe in your head at least) and say THOSE are the people James was talking about.

But, is it really just THOSE people?

What if I said I’m one of THOSE people that James is talking about? And what if I say I’m pretty sure you are too?

I have days where my words have a split personality. I will praise God in the morning, then cut down my neighbor in the evening. I will build up my friend at lunch, and tear down my children at dinner. I will post something inspirational, and then snap at my husband.

Words have power. They have the power to kill and the power to give life.

I’m still working on taming my tongue and I don’t mind being honest about that. I know that is something every human struggles with because the Bible says it clearly in James 3.

But what am I doing to actively take my words captive and make them obedient to the Lord?

I am praying more. When my mind is in tune with God and I’m in constant conversation with him my thoughts are naturally more like his. Instead of getting angry quickly, I can whisper a quick prayer and not let my words fly.

I am reading the Bible more. For me, I learn by seeing words whether I write them or read them. I need to see things written down. So when I read the word of God, I am learning more about what he says. I can make my thoughts reflect his words.

I am asking for forgiveness. I have a terrible time with being sarcastic. I always have. I try to be funny but it comes across mean and I hurt feelings. I know this. So, I’m asking for forgiveness when I know I’ve hurt someone. My words have the power for life and death, but I won’t let my words kill. If my hurtful words linger in someones heart and I don’t ask for forgiveness they will kill a small part of them. I don’t want to be responsible for that.

I am being more conscious of the words that come out. I don’t want to be calculated in everything that I say. But when I know I’m about to say something important I try to weigh the costs. Is what I’m saying going to build this person up or is it going to tear them down? Is it going to make me feel better in the moment while making them feel worse?

I’m no where near perfect. I have a long way to go. But I’m working on it. I want my words to be a spark that sets the world on fire for Jesus. I don’t want the devil to use my words against me for evil. So, I’m trying not to let praise and curse both come out of my mouth. I am focusing on the positives and letting my mind dwell there so that my words will be the overflow.

What are you doing to tame your tongue and your words?