Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
I know this will surprise many of you but I have occasionally shot my mouth off when things would have been better left unsaid. I truly believe that I have been called to be somewhat of a cheerleader of the faith, to encourage believers young and old to continue in their fight of faith by using my mouth as weapon of warfare for the Lord’s work. And then there are those times…
The times that I have to pray that the Lord will shut my mouth because it will say things that “ought not so to be.” I don’t always heed my mother’s advice. As a child in the Strange Creek Grocery store in Braxton County, WV I once corrected an old man’s grammar. My mother wasn’t long about lining me out that she could correct my grammar because that was her job, it was not my job to correct anyone’s. God and I had that same talk this morning…. I’m still a slow learner.
It generally happens when I’m frustrated because of circumstances or hurt. I sometimes am my own cheerleader. “Who do they think they are? Here I am trying to encourage the believers and do the will of God, I’m the one down in the trenches, the one who’s been committed to the Lord’s work for the last 17 years, the one who’s fought Hell with a water pistol and they have the audacity to…” Yea… that’s godly right? So I have to pray, God give me the bridle, put the bits in my mouth and yank them tight or I’m going to do damage.
I heard God say, “That’s not your job.”
James’ words convicted my heart this morning, my prayer was answered. God bridled my tongue and I understood what James meant when he said “and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” The old nature shouts, “Give’em a piece of your mind.” The new nature says “you’re supposed to have the mind of Christ.” The old nature says, “Curse them.” The new nature says, “God made them, you have no right.”
There’s a war within me, you too for that matter; and I don’t want to set a fire with a course for hell. Did you catch that in James’ words? I sure did. I believe that it was God’s way of saying to me this morning. Those piddley things in life don’t mater… unless you allow Satan to use them to blind the eyes of a sinner and they go to Hell. That I’ll lay to your charge.
Bridle me Lord! Amen.