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Tongue Tied
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Not long ago, I observed a boss yelling at one of his employees.His back was turned to the door as I passed quietly through the hallway. So, the supervisor was unaware that his words had been overheard. From the sound of it, a mistake had been made, although certainly not a major one. For this seemingly minor blunder, the guilty one was receiving a severe tongue-lashing.

Perhaps this has happened to you, and your face turned red and your voice choked up in humiliation as you received a sudden verbal barrage of bullets. Worse yet, you may have been the one to release such a fiery blast that reduced someone else to a smoldering pile of disgrace.

All of us have done this at one time or another. We are less than honest if we claim we have never unleashed a verbal onslaught that has brought pain to another.

Taming of the Tongue

In the Bible book of James, the author talks about the “taming of the tongue.” He alludes to the fact that we put bits in horse’s mouths in order to control them. We outfit ships with rudders for the same purpose. In fact, James says in chapter. 3, verse 7, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil full of poison.”

Like a carelessly tossed match in a tinder dry forest, one thoughtless or unkind word can spark a raging fire and do untold damage to ourselves and others.

James even goes so far as to say that if anyone thinks they are religious but they don’t bridle their tongue, they are deceiving themselves and their religion is useless (vs. 26)!

Though no man (or woman) can tame the tongue, as James says, God can! When we draw near to the Lord day by day asking God to change us and the words that come from our mouths, our Creator will soften them and even help us to keep our mouths shut, when to open them would do harm to others.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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