Think of some sort of machine or practical item. Most things function because of the parts that make up its whole. The parts function together to create the whole. All the parts serve a purpose. That not it works with mediocrity-or not even well, but at its best.
Our bodies are the same way. We have our arms and legs that serve a purpose. We have our ears to help us listen (maybe not all of us do this). We have our lungs to help us breathe and our hearts to help sustain life and pump blood to the body. These are all very important parts of our whole.
But what about the parts of our bodies that are small and maybe seem insignificant to the workings of the whole? What about the tongue? As it says in Peter 3, “in the same way, the youngish is a small thing that makes grand speeches.”
Just like every other part of our body, our tongue serves a purpose. What Paul is saying is that such a small part of the body has so much power. We use it to communicate. We choose how we communicate. It is small, but serves a huge purpose to us as humans. But we also have the human nature to use our words for negativity. We choose how to use our tongue-we can spew out evil and hurtful things or we can use it to speak life, or speak words of encouragement.
I am guilty of this. I’m guilty of not taming my tongue. I am guilty of letting this small-but impactful part of the whole-hurt others.
I’m guilty of using it as an opportunity to get my last word in. Or remind someone of their past or how they hurt me. I’m guilty of saying something out of anger that leaves wedges between me and people I cherish and love. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The tongue is called “the flame of the fire” (Peter 3). If we don’t learn to tame it it can corrupt our whole world. If we don’t learn to tame it, it can do some intangible, but sometimes undo-able damage
The Bible says we-people-can tame all sorts of things in this life. From animals to fish to all kind of livestock. But that tongue-we seem to struggle to control (James 3).
It’s interesting to me that I can tame many things outside of myself, but when it comes to something like my own tongue I often fail to use it for the good.
My tongue shouts praises and speaks truths yet I have used it to hurt loved ones by cursing or lying. But that’s not right. Regardless, God works with us when we work with him. I encourage you and myself to speak life boldly and courageously-not speak out fear and anger. God is all about words-he says life is found in his Word. He is constantly reminding us to speak life over our situations. He teaches us how to react in situations-knowing we’d struggle with controlling our tongues. He knows the tongue can can bring fire and destruction (James 3).
But he still loves us gently through the process of using our words for good and blessing. We are humans. We are not perfect And I thank God every time he forgives me for using my words for negativity. However, God wants to pursue the goodness is us all. Even in using our words-he made the universe speaking life-literally light and darkness and heathen and earth. I’m making it a goal to be more intentional with how I use my words.
“Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.”