If it can’t be tamed, why bother trying?
I’ve never tamed something wild, but I have trained a few wild domesticated animals. Presently we have a cat named Emma which we adopted from the animal shelter. She wasn’t our first choice, but somehow she found her way into our house anyway. It wasn’t long before we wondered if we had made the better selection. Emma was young and wild, but through scolding, bribing, swatting, and water squirting we have brought her rambunctiousness under control.
I haven’t been as fortunate with taming my tongue. It doesn’t wag as it once did, but occasionally a firebrand of impulsivity will cause an unkind or angry word to slither out. But mine is no different than anyone else’s. No one can tame the tongue. (James 3:8 NLT)
James’ list of what the tongue is capable of spewing is depressing. Evil words, hypocritical tirades, curses. But also blessings. Why would God put something into my mouth that’s so proficient with dastardly deeds? Actually, he didn’t. At least not in its current standing.
The tongue—like every other part of the human body’s anatomy, was originally created in God’s image. When sin entered through the first parent’s disobedience, everything experienced corruption…the tongue included. Now it can commit obscenities God never intended it to perpetrate.
Without God’s help, I’m helpless to control my tongue. I’ll speak good one minute and evil the next. It will wag out of control. But with his power, I can tame it. I can encourage rather than discourage, give hope instead of despair, distribute wisdom rather than foolishness, speak blessings instead of curses, and spread love in place of hate. Just as an apple tree doesn’t produce grapes, so my tongue shouldn’t manufacture anything contrary to God’s standards.
Have you tamed your tongue? If not, ask God to help you begin the process.
Prayer: Father, give us the wisdom and power to use our tongues to build up others and spread Your love.
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