The untamed tongue
Text: James 3:2-10
The tongue is one of the smallest parts of the body described in the scripture as an unruly evil. The description is so because the tongue is not disciplined on its own and is full of ‘fire of hell’ if misused. The tongue itself is not, by anyway bad. The Lord Almighty made it to serve a definite purpose for man, but the misuse of it is where the problem lies.
The tongue has brought unprecedented disaster to nations, cities, towns and villages. It has collapsed many homes and even house of God. It has also crumbled many relationships and closed doors that were hitherto accessible. Miriam, the elder sister of Moses fell into this quagmire. She was flippant with her tongue. She carelessly appropriated the tongue to her own peril. She castigated and spoke against her anointed brother, Moses, whom the Lord had chosen to lead the Israelites to the land of Canaan. God was furious with her and that led to her waterloo. The journey of the Israelites was paused for a week because of wrong use of Miriam’s tongue.
A flippant and garrulous person should be avoided completely in the Assembly of children of God. Such a person causes offences and division among the brethren and consequently destroys the Lord’s works. The Lord warned that we should have nothing to do with those who cause offences, but to rather avoid them.
Even in our homes, such people are not welcomed. They can easily be identified with the following traits: they are talkatives; they speak against holy things; they talk against dignitaries and ministers of God; they talk against the church; they make jest and despise holy things; they discuss their pastors at their dining or bedrooms.
The twelve spies of the Israelites sent to spy the Land of Canaan overstepped their bounds: they misused their tongues. They came back with misleading information that had no biblical foundation. They caused the whole house of Israel to murmur and erred against the Lord. The aftermath of their action was unpalatable. It brought calamity to a whole nation of Israel; it delayed their journey and turned 40 days journey to 40 years; it altered God’s promises in their lives; it slowed down the hands of God in their lives.
Many sorrows and devastations nations are going through today could have been avoided, if the tongue was bridled. The uncontrollable venom the tongue emits in wrath can destroy homes, families, church, relationships and nations. Many civil wars across the globe are traceable to this endemic that flared anger, which led to taking up of arms that destroy many lives. Nigeria Civil War quickly comes to mind! Millions of souls, without eternity in heaven, were wasted unjustly.
A husband who cannot control his tongue but flatter around with it has no rule over his spirit. A man who is always ashamed of his utterances afterwards, is not worth his onions. A wife who abuses her husband with her tongue and turned her home into a battlefield is not worthy to be a mother. Some wives are so loquacious that they rain curses on their husbands, even in the presence of their children. Such families may have delayed blessings and God’s promises in their lives like the Israelites.
Some marriages have broken down irretrievably because of the tongue. One of the disadvantages of such a disintegrated home is abandoned and wayward children. The children bear the brunt of whatever happens to any marriage. Many children in the home suffer undeserved hardship because of the calamity parents have brought, as a result of misuse of tongue.
Young people are not insulated from this malady plaguing the society. Some have ended their careers unceremoniously and sent out of school because of their unguarded tongue. Some children have turned their parents into slaves and damaged what is left in them occasioned by unsavoury tongue.
Today is a day of reconciliation. Take inventory of your life. Check up where you have peddled unverified information or rumours against a brother or sister in the church. Have you murmured against any leader over you and gossip with his name among church members? Have you hurt your husband or wife with your tongue? Identify these victims of your tongue; make necessary restitutions and reconciliations with them so you can receive God’s blessings in your life.
For further reading: Numbers 12:10; 16:1-3, 19; 13: 32; 14:10-12, 22,23,27, 28; Prov. 13:3; 18:7,21; 21:23; James 3:3-4 7,8.
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