Thursday, October 07, 2010

Bridling the Beast In Your Body...[170]

The tongue. Yes, the tongue. It's is one muscle that receives more exercise but less control than any other. It is only a two-ounce slab of muscle, mucous membrane and nerves that enables us to chew, taste, swallow food and articulate words. Sometimes, it can be a two-ounce beast. The capabilities of the tongue...
You use your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue to deceit.
[Psalm 50:19]

Your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor,
you who practice deceit.
[Psalm 52:2]

You love every harmful word,
O you deceitful tongue!
[Psalm 52:4]

I am in the midst of lions;
I lie among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
[Psalm 57:4]

Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
[Proverbs 25:15]

As a north wind brings rain,
so a sly tongue brings angry looks.
[Proverbs 25:23]

He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor
than he who has a flattering tongue.
[Proverbs 28:23]

"Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit."
"The poison of vipers is on their lips."
[Romans 3:13]

Is James condemning the teaching ministry? The words teachers sow will affect many lives.

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
[James 3:1-2]
  1. James is NOT condemning teaching; he's only warning against rushing into the profession without weighing the responsibility.
  2. James is not promoting silence; he's proposing control.


When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. [James 3:3]

With the length of rope or a few strips of leather and a small piece of metal in a horses' mouth, a rider can control the horse's whole body. In the same way, James says, the tongue is a bit, a small, two-ounce bit nestles in our mouths that controls the direction of our lives.

Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
[James 3:4]
James likens the tongue to a rudder, something proportionately smaller than the bit when compared to the size of the ships it guides. The rudder of the human body is that small slab of muscle called the tongue.

Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
[James 3:5]
A tiny spark, smaller than a fingernail, holds the power to destroy thousands of acres of forest. Such is the power of the tongue.


The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
[James 3:6]
The whole world of evil finds its expression through the tongue. Boastful pride, destructive anger, cutting bitterness and flattering lust - the tongue communicates them all.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
[James 3:7-8]
Our tongues are like the forked menace of poisonous snake. With them we strike and poison those around us.

These are Hitler's words when he bared his fangs against Christianity....

Nothing will prevent me from tearing up Christianity, root and branch... All who profess creeds... are traitors to the people. Even those Christians who really want to serve the people... we have to suppress. I myself am a heathen to the core.

This same venomous hatred later resulted in cyclone B, the poisonous gas used to kill millions at Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka and elsewhere.

*Currently reading this*

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
[James 3:9-10]
The tongue is a powerful, dangerous beast, not always but SOMETIMES. Sometimes it helps mend bones instead of breaking them, sometimes it builds people up instead of tearing them down, sometimes it brings life instead of death.

Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
[James 3:11-12]
Unlike humankind, nature is consistent. Peach trees don't produce poisonous mushrooms. Only the human heart is capable of producing such inconsistencies.

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