Small yet powerfulTop Highlights, Where's the Faith? Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
Social Chaos: Where's the Faith?
This week’s article is all about little things that have control over big things. Things that are small, yet powerful: A bit in a horse’s mouth; a spark that can burn down a forest; a rudder that can control a ship; and a tongue that can influence a person so much.
James, the apostle, talks about great power being in the tongue. The tongue, like the heart, is almost all muscle; unlike the repetitive cardiac contractions though, the tongue is capable of very precise, complicated and elaborate movements. It has many important responsibilities we probably take for granted. The tongue is necessary for all speech – no matter what language you speak.
I like the fact that James comes at this issue of taming the tongue from a number of different directions. He really spends time talking about the issue in different ways to help us wrap our mind around it.
James says that “with the tongue we praise God, the Creator of All, and with it we curse those who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My sisters and brothers, this should not be.”
These verses remind us that our relationship with God is intimately related to our relationships with those around us. We can’t pretend to love God and live in hatred toward others. I understand this truth. I believe it. And yet, I find it’s so hard to bridle my tongue.
I think all of us can think of something that we said to someone that we wish we had never said. Usually it’s anger or hurt that brings out these horrible comments. The sad truth is that you can never take them back. You can apologize. You can beg forgiveness. You can even be forgiven by the person you’ve hurt, but relationships are changed and broken down by hurtful words.
James has an important message for us here. Words do damage. The tongue is the most dangerous weapon we have. And we are called, we are implored, to control our tongues; to step back from the moment and stop ourselves from saying things that tear people down.
We worship in song every Sunday. Our tongues are filled with praise. Praising God is more than just an activity for us. It’s more than just something we do. It’s who we are created to be. And when we praise God, we are saying that we are that very thing that God has created us to be.
Let your speech be speech that praises, not one that curses. When you speak to those around you are you speaking with love or out of hatred?
We gain power when we learn to tame our tongue. We end up with a bit more control in our lives. Our relationships with those around us are improved when they no longer have to get past painful and hurtful things that we’ve said to them. And best of all, we are better able to focus on praising God, a loving God, a compassionate God, a forgiving God.
Rev. Dan Koeshall is the Senior Pastor at The Metropolitan Community Church (The Met) in San Diego, California, themetchurch.org
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