James 3:5–12 (ESV)
Taming the Tongue
also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.
The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed
by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness
of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can
a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
There are only two ways to live: by the “wisdom”
of the world or by God’s wisdom. James condemns the worldly pattern of selfishness, deception, hurtful words, and other evil behaviors. Christians, too, struggle with such sins and are even tempted to present themselves as holier than others. How different
is the wisdom of God! He has purified us in Christ and freed us from the stain of the world. We now walk in the works He has prepared for us to do.
I pray: O
Lord, purify me so that my words may uplift, strengthen, bring peace where there is strife, and bring sincerity where there is falsehood. Use my lips to speak Your glory, to tell of Your wonderful deeds, and to proclaim Your salvation. Amen.