5So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
6And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.
7For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.
8But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.
9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;
10from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
Our Sunday evening service is a nice quiet time. Few people attend (I am guilty of not attending to much lately), but I did a few weeks ago, and the study going on is in James. I found some of it very interesting and wrote down verses in my Droid. I use my Droid to put a lot of information in that I want to save, but that is for a different time.
Many verses in the Bible tell us about using our words and encouraging people. God wants us to to use our voices to tell His story, of how Jesus came to be a human, feeling what we feel, suffering what we suffer, and rejoice in what we find joyful. We are to tell everyone how God saved us from eternal damnation. How, through his blood and the cross, we have found redemption. He also wants us to tell our story to people.
James warns us of what the tongue can do that is harmful. This little muscle in the body has the potential to create such havoc that an earthquake or tornado has never seen. It has ruined lives and reputations with one swift cut. Verses five and six tell that it is fire and it will set our course for our life. Just a few small words and our very lives can be ruined. Verse eight tells us that we can't tame it. It is full of poison.
Like verse nine, we bless and curse with our tongue. When I hear someone cursing, I always think of the saying, "You kiss your Momma with that mouth?" I don't understand using curse words. I always tell my kids that it is shows your ignorance of the English language. I went to a high school play over the weekend. During the show, which was a musical and a good one at that, with lots of family and young kids, several times curse words popped out of the mouths of the actors. Was this really necessary to get their point across? Did we have to hear teenagers saying these words? What precedent does this set? What does this tell the younger generations? It is a shame. As James says in the last part of the tenth verse, "My brethren, these things ought not to be this way."