Tag Archives: bridled tongue

Church Words… a hot topic!

James 3:6 ~  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.

What church doesn’t have that “one among their members” who never understands the need of keeping their trap shut when it comes to expressing an opinion without regard for the feelings attached? Perhaps you’re that person (insert smile here, for you likely don’t know it) and it is for certain that we all have the ability to be that person. But this morning as I prepare my heart for attending service my thoughts are on the others attending and the importance of feeling loved and understood. Part of the charm that attracted me to Victory Baptist Church was that I felt a part of it from day one, that I mattered. The Pastor at that time called me that first Sunday afternoon and ask what I thought of services that day. Wow! Was my response to him, but not about the church, about the fact that he called to see what I thought! Don’t get me wrong, I loved the church too, but what was most important to setting me on a course of salvation was the words that fueled the fire. A pastor have never called me before… nor a church member for that matter to tell me that I mattered. That’s a lot of “matters,” but it does!

There’s a right fire and a wild fire and both have the power to turn a body of Christ as the helm of a ship as it says in James 3:4 ~ Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

Words are a mighty thing. Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton, a nineteenth century author coined the phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword;” a phrase he knew the meaning of full well having lived years with a discontented wife (and possibly rightly so) who then became his ex-wife . She berated him in books and musings as well as publically. In June 1858, when her husband was standing as parliamentary candidate for Hertfordshire, she indignantly denounced him in a pubic event, he retaliated by threatening her publishers, withholding her allowance, and denying access to the children. He then had her committed to a mental asylum but with public outcry had her released a few weeks later. Her words were ruining his life, but the both of them were the willing victims of one another.

I fear as the bride of Christ, our words have done far more damage than we’re aware. I won’t go into the words spoken that harm and discourage God’s children, for they are too many; and it does little to speak about a condemning, gossiping tongue, for those who have one usually choose to justify it. I’m assuming this morning that you are of the lot who desires to encourage and edify the body of Christ… well let me encourage you with my pen, or the stroke of the keyboard. Let your words speak Christ into the heart of someone today. Tell them you’re glad they came to church, call them afterwards and let them know that you loved their visit. Perhaps it’s someone who’s been in your congregation for a while, let them know that you enjoy their presence, speak life into their soul!

Those few words that the Pastor to spoke to me that Sunday in February of 1996 set a righteous fire in my heart that is still burning with great passion for Jesus Christ today.

Damage Control

James 3:5-10

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.