James 3:1-12 NIV
Taming the Tongue
1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We 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.
3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or 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. 5Likewise 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. 6The 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.
7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt[a] water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Watching Our Words
James has much to say about the tongue and words and the effect the have in our lives. Especially in recovery, words are very important. When we speak positive, hopeful, encouraging words, we are speaking wisdom from the recovering, healing part of ourselves. From that part of our being we bring forth good fruit, and we enjoy the results. When we are discouraged or having a bad day, when we feel sorry for ourselves or are experiencing anger, it is easy to speak impulsively.
Words are powerful. They can take us from laughter to the pits of despair in just minutes. Our words can ruin an entire day-our own or someone else's. Therefore it is wisdom, it is recovery, to guard our lips, to monitor the words we speak. Not in a codependent way, in which we hold back real feelings and only say what we think others want to hear; but in a healthy way, in which we speak honestly but also respectfully to others and ourselves.
Our recovery today depends on the words we say. To control the tongue may be one of the most difficult tasks in our recovery, but it will be one of the most beneficial things we do.
Father God, set a watch at my mouth and help me guard what I say today
In Christ name, Amen