It seems like the whole world
is jumping on Alec Baldwin for the course message he left for his daughter
that has been played over and over recently. Without defending his
words in any way, it strikes me that we all might have a memory of
words or conversations that would not be pleasing to air publicly.
A great advantage in our home when raising our children involved raising
our voice, it was fortunate that when one parent was going catatonic,
the other parent usually kept their cool. The words we say have incredible
power and permanance. You can apologize if you have hurt someone but
the words can never be retrieved and the relationship is often hampered
forever unless both parties truly forgive and forget.
James 3: 1-12 has great lessons and pictures for
us to understand this larger than life issue. The author joins us
by saying in verse 2 that "...we all make mistates, and if any one makes no mistakes
in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body
also." He is saying that he too has made these same mistakes.
Note the comparisons made to our tongues:
- Bits in the mouths of horses, control the bit and it will control
the whole body of a huge animal
- Rudder of a great ship, control the rudder and it will control
a large ship
- The tongue is a fire; an unrighteous world among our members; a
restless evil; full of deadly poison; tries to bring both blessing
and cursing from the same source; and appears to be untameable.
Christians rely on the Holy Spirit to form their words and help them
speak when they are pressed about their faith or in need of the right
thing to say. Waiting on the Lord to help us with our speech and using
the right words is impossible for mortal people to do all the time.
This week, you will be pressed into a stress situation and it will
take all you can do to not over react. James also describes in verse
17 what Godly words will do. From our position of weakness, we can
still find victory if we learn from past mistakes.
"But the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, and good fruits,
without uncertainty or insincerity."