The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21a
Listen: James 3
James knows all too well the damage the tongue can do. The members of his church are tearing each other apart with their words. They are arguing and hurting each other and the reputation of Jesus. James doesn’t beat around the bush, calling the tongue evil. He uses hyperbole when he says the potential damage of our speech is like a wildfire. The tongue is often what sparks some massive consequences that we cannot control.
James might as well be speaking to us today. We all know of situations where one comment ruined a relationship. Families are torn apart because one argument escalated and never resolved. Marriages end because a spouse cannot control their speech. As guest speaker Kevin Harney challenged us the video clip below, we should choose to refuse to grumble, whine or complain. We need to remove gossip from our life rigorously. We have to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19) and remind ourselves of Proverbs 18:21a.
These things won’t happen by accident. We won’t wake up one morning and realize we can suddenly control our speech. It takes work. We have to not only desire for change to happen but take steps to make it happen.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
If you desire for your speech to change, take a first step. Take a sticky note, taped piece of paper or type in your mobile where you will see it first thing in the morning. Write on it “I refuse to grumble, whine or complain. I will not gossip. I will be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.” Consider making more than one. Put them other places you need a reminder, like in your office or car.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.