James 3: 5-6: Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
We’ve had some great discussions on our midweek services. One night we talked about a situation that many may have found themselves in. You see your best friend’s husband out with another woman and you know it was a wrong situation. Do you tell your friend, or do you keep silent? What does your heart tell you on this subject? Weigh out the possible consequences if you tell. Might they divorce? Might they work it out? What do you do or say?
The Bible tells us that the tongue no man can tame. It is unruly and full of deadly poison. I’ve seen it break up marriages, split churches, destroy friendships and harm people irrevocably.
We can’t tame this little beast, but Jesus can. You can seek His help in controlling this little wild member. It spreads gossip, rumors, lies, hatred, fake news and numerous other happenings.
As we think about this, let’s examine ourselves. Not our neighbor, not our family members, not our friends, but ourselves. Do we gossip, lie, tell secrets with which we’ve been entrusted? My husband used to pull on his ear when someone began to gossip to him and say, “Does this look like a garbage can?” I used to cringe when he did that, but they didn’t say anymore. I do want to say that he tried to deflect their conversation kindly before he got that far.
To save yourself from being a party to gossip, hearsay and all the rest, and to keep yourself from sinning, don’t take part in this sort of thing. I realize everyone gets upset and has a need to vent at times, do that with a spouse or your best friend, or better yet, vent to God. Tell Him how hurt, angry or upset you are, and ask Him to help you control your “little member.”
Our problem is, we like to hear all the juicy gossip, and we like even better to spread it, but we have to learn that “love covers a multitude of sin,” and it isn’t love that makes us listen to or partake in vicious actions from such little members as our tongues.
My Grandma used to say, “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.” I’ll bet you’ve heard that too. So, I close today with this little prayer for all of us: “Dear Lord, help us to control our tongues and to use our influence for the betterment of others and not for their destruction or harm. Fill our hearts with love, compassion and empathy for our fellow man. I thank you Lord for your favor in this area in which we are so weak. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” Until next time!