Our tongue. Who can tame it?


James 3:3-10

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.  Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.  Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Think about this for a moment.  Out of the same mouth that we praise our God, we curse men.  We gossip, we slander, we complain, we argue.  This should not be so in the life of a believer.  We have the ability to start a fire, or put out a fire with our tongues. As I was sitting in church next to a dear friend of mine, our pastor taught about our tongue and he mentioned that sometimes we can get upset when we are driving but do we hold our tongues? My friend gave me one of those looks 🙂

I was reminded of a circumstance this winter when my husband and I got into a car “accident” (sort of).  The roads were plowed but there was still snow on them.  We were on our way home from shopping.  My son Benjamin was in the back and as usual he threw his pacifier onto the floor, my husband was driving and I unbuckled to get it.  I gave him his pacifier back and sat back in my seat.  I hadn’t buckled back up yet and as soon as I looked up, a woman was backing out of her driveway, and she didn’t see us coming.  Let me remind you that it was 55mph zone.  She pulled out right in front of us, it was a miracle that we didn’t hit her and God protected me from that because I was not buckled back up yet.  So my husband swirved and drove into a corn field, we went sailing into this field at 50 mph and eventually came to a stop about 100 yards into the corn field.  All of my kids were screaming and I was outraged.  The car pulled over to see if we were ok, and a little old woman got out.  I jumped out of the car and let me tell you, I was not impressed! I was so angry at her lack of paying attention while she was driving, and I was going to let her know it!  As I was walking toward her, I look back at the car and my husband is still sitting in the drivers seat with his hands on the steering wheel.  I think he was still in shock over what happened.  Knowing that I’m an Italian 🙂 he quickly said “Maris, get back in the car” I stopped.  Get back in the car? Was he nuts?!  This woman needed to know what a terrible driver she was! I was determined to tell her that I have 4 children in the car and I would have been dead if we hit her because I hadn’t buckled back up yet.  He got out and again told me to get in the car.  The woman was waiting up at the road to see if we were ok.  So I got back in the car (grudgingly).  I was listening to my husband talk to the woman and he said “yes we are all ok, no problem.  Are you ok?” He’s asking if she’s ok. Really? (I’m sure I rolled my eyes more than once during his conversation) “everything is fine, yes the car is fine, thanks for checking to see if we are ok, God bless”

When he got in the car I asked why didn’t you tell her what a bad driver she was!?! He said “Maris she already knows she was driving bad, why make it worse by yelling at her?”

He was absolutely right.  He shares the love of God wherever he goes and in every circumstance.  Even when someone runs him off the road.  You see, I could have yelled at her (and probably would have) but what good does that do? When someone does you wrong, how do you respond? Are you quick to insult, yell, revile in return? “Out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouth speaks” I want to be so filled with God’s love that whatever I speak is encouraging, edifying, honoring, and loving.

I was listening to a song today and it said  “When we breath in hope, and breath in grace and breath in God.  Then we’ll breath out peace, and breath out justice, breath out love. ” Think about that, when you get in God’s word and take in grace, peace, joy, hope, love.  That’s what will come out of you.

You are called to be a light in this world dear sister, what comes out of your mouth is what is in your heart.  I pray that God tames my tongue, and uses me for His glory.

Speak Your Mind



  1. So true Marissa! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Mary Lee says:

    Your devotional brought tears to my eyes Marissa. Your reactions would have been mine though I don’t know if I would have been obedient to get back into the car. Thanks for sharing.. I want God to control my reactions like He did Justin’s.