Welcome to DAY 13 of our online Bible study on James!
— Read: James 3:1-6 —
“Take the piece of chocolate in front of you and put it on each part of your tongue and tell me what you taste,” I said to my eagerly awaiting students.
I watched seventeen kindergarteners take a milk chocolate chip and put it on the tip of their tongue, the side of their tongue, and the back of their tongue.
Almost all of them shared how it was easier to taste the sweetness on the front part of the tongue. I explained that God created the tongue like that so the brain can know the sweet thing was desirable and we would want it.
I also explained how the bitter taste buds are in the back of the tongue because most poisons are created from bitter plants and the body instinctively does not want to swallow things that will harm the body. God created the tongue to have power that affects the whole body.
This power does not stop at only tasting what is good. Just as the tongue can bring sweetness and protection to our bodies, it can also bring sweetness and joy to others. Yet, this tiny thing can also do much harm to others as well.
In James 3:4, the tongue is likened to a small rudder steering a large boat where the pilot wants to go.
The rudder has no power on its own. It cannot decide to go left or right. It only follows commands, and it can change the direction of a large ship in the midst of a storm. In the same way, our tongue follows the command of our minds and spirit when we choose to speak light into a dark world or when we spew evil with the words we say that can hurt or bring fear to another person.
We will all sin. We will never be perfect until we are in heaven and the perfection of Jesus will be ours. But we have the power of Christ to guide our hearts and our tongues.
We can use our words to bring hope and healing to a world that is so full of anger, confusion, and hopelessness.
We have the power to steer others toward Jesus even in the midst of a storm. Whether through a note of encouragement or a sincere question asking how somebody is, we can create a path for God’s joy to come to those around us! May we prayerfully dedicate our tongues to speak of whatever is lovely and true. And may we allow others to taste the goodness of His love through our words!
— Diving Deeper —
When has someone spoken a “sweet” word of encouragement to you?
What did they say?
Share in the comments!