Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Relationships

Back to Words Again

A few days ago, I was reading James 3 and again WORDS was the hot topic. WORDS can either build you up and bring comfort or tear you down and create despair. I want to share with you the WORDS I read in James as translated in the Message Bible.

A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse.
A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands
of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds.
A word out of your mouth may seem of no account,
but it can accomplish nearly anything-or destroy it!
It only takes a spark remember, to set off a forest fire.
A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that.
By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos,
throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and
go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. This is scary:
You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue-it’s never been done.
The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer.
With our tongues we bless God our Father;
with the same tongues we curse the very men and women
He made in His image.
Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
My friends this can’t go on.
JAMES 3:3-10

Did you catch that? At least for me, those WORDS are so convicting. All too often, I can be careless with my WORDS. All too often, I don’t take seriously enough the WORDS that come out of my mouth! But I am learning to pause and weigh my words before I speak! Eugene Petersen reminds us in his note on this passage:

“Huge horse, little bit-and the bit calls the shots. A small rudder is attached to the ship – and it, not the wind, determines the ships course. The tongue is like a spark in the forest. And we all know what happens when the spark catches fire!

It only takes a moment of carelessness in conversation, but in a gusty moment, that conversation can get out of hand, causing a forest full of devastation.

Can you believe that? Can you believe that there were Christians in those first century congregations who were full of praise for God, singing the hymns and making confession and entering into prayers, and then out on the streets they were gossiping, cursing, and belittling their fellow Christians with their WORDS? Well, we can believe it because we’ve all done it!”

A Prayer
Dear Lord,
Help me to realize the impact of my words on the lives of others. Help me to use my tongue as an instrument of blessing rather than cursing. Grant that when I speak my truth, I would speak it in love, that my words would be like the Lord, Jesus’ words, full of grace and truth. If it’s true as your word says, that the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart, then give me a better heart! Especially, I pray for that part of my heart….

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky