Read James 3:7-8 (ESV)
For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Have you ever been discouraged at your own inability to watch your mouth? As Christians, what hope do we have?
Whenever I watch sports, I am always amazed at what the human body can do. God made incredible bodies for us! But most athletes have to train their bodies in order to be successful. From strength training, to interval training, to cross training, athletes have to practice. They work hard to get their bodies under their full control so they can use their bodies to their fullest potential.
But there seems to be one muscle that humans struggle to train and master. In fact, James said that no human being can tame the tongue! We can train the rest of our bodies. We can even tame wild animals. But, despite our best efforts, our tongues run amok.
So far this week, we have read that James said that tongues can steer our whole bodies. He also said that the words we speak can spread as fast and do just as much damage as a forest fire! Today he adds that tongues are restlessly evil and poisonous. To make matters worse, he said humans can’t tame their own tongues!
That sounds pretty discouraging, doesn’t it? Why even try to watch your mouth if it can’t be done? Why would James go to all the trouble of warning us about the destructive power of the tongue if we are powerless to stop it? Is taming our tongues a hopeless endeavor?
Well, it may be hopeless for us on our own but remember, that everything is possible with God (Luke 1:37). Remember, Jesus won the victory over Satan, sin, and even death! In 1 Corinthians 15:57, Paul wrote: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” If we are in Christ, we share in His victory.
Paul also wrote in Romans 6:12-14, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passion. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under the law but under grace.”
Did you catch that? Sin doesn’t have any dominion over us if we are under grace instead of the law. In Christ, we don’t have to obey our sinful desires. And we shouldn’t allow sin to use the members of our bodies, like our tongues, as instruments for unrighteousness. Instead, we can present our whole bodies to God and ask Him to use us as instruments for righteousness!
Jesus has given us the victory over sin! Why then would we allow it to reign in our bodies? Why do we let it control our words? We shouldn’t and we don’t have to! In Christ, our tongues are not untamable!
Jesus, I am so thankful that in You I have victory over sin, even the sins of my mouth! As David prayed in Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips”. Tame my tongue, Lord so that I use it only as an instrument of righteousness, to glorify and honor You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
If you found value in this post, please share your comments, questions, and prayers with us!Discipleship Tip: Sharing is discipleship. Invite a friend to join you each day for a morning coffee and conversation about God. Click the sharing button below to get the conversation started.