The Tongue

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
The Chicago Fire of 1871 burned for three days, and destroyed thousands of buildings, killed an estimated 300 people and caused an estimated $200 million in damages. It all happened when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lantern in a barn and started the fire.

Seemingly little things can lead to big things and not always good things. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 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. Consider what great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can set in motion great things, both good and bad. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.

Words, delivered at the right (or wrong) moment, can change the course of history.
Consider Patrick Henry’s “Liberty or Death” oration on the eve of the American Revolution. This was the most influential speech in inspiring the war of independence against Britain.

General Eisenhower on the eve of the Normandy invasion turned to his staff and said to his staff “Let’s go,” and Operation Overlord was set in motion committing 156,000 troops.

But, it is not only the great and historical events which are guided by the tongue. It guides things like telling someone you love them or telling your children you are proud of them. As the tongue can change the course of history, it also can change the relationships in a family or fellowship in our churches.

We should use caution with how we use our tongue. Words from the mouth are like messages after we hit the send button. We can’t get them back. One kind or unkind word can change someone’s entire day. We should be careful with our words, because once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten. We can say something hurtful in ten seconds, but ten years later, the wounds are still there.

The tongue does a lot of physical things for our body, but I believe that the prime gift God gave us with our tongue is to edify the saints and spread the Word to the sinners.

Perhaps the greatest use of the tongue was given to us by Jesus:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
– Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:7
By John Grant
Used by Permission

The Ripples of Your Journey

“…you be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
I stood on the shore and watched the kids throw rocks into the water. Whole fistfuls of pebbles flew through the air. Each one hit the water with the same result…ripples. Ripples that circled out and intersected with the other ripples, going far beyond the spot where each stone landed.

We are like the pebble. No matter how influential or insignificant we see ourselves, we each send out ripples that circle out further than we ever dream.

Words and deeds of kindness or cruelty, gentleness or abrasiveness, generosity or greed, all ripple out and touch other lives far beyond the boundaries we think they go. Our families, co-workers, neighbors, and even strangers are often touched by an act or a word of ours that we never thought would go that far.

We do influence, we do touch others, even when we are not aware of it. God even reminds us of our ripples…

“…you be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

As you go through your day today be reminded that you are sending out ripples. You have no idea how far they will go. Ask your Heavenly Father to help you bring His heart of love and grace into your setting and be conscious of the ripples you are sending out.

Heavenly Father, I sometimes forget that I am an influence in the places I walk each day. Help me today to be aware of the ripples I send out with my words and conversations and even with my tones. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit today so that the ripples from my words and actions touch and encircle those around me with strength and encouragement. Help me to be an example of love and faith and purity today because You have placed me in this very spot to bring Your love to the people around me.?In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

By Gail Rodgers
Used by Permission


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