Read James 3
Small things can make big things happen. Small things can have a lot of power.
Microchips are essential components of computers and just about every other electronic device manufactured today. They are the “brains” of your smartphone, laptop, or tablet; even calculators, watches and satellites utilize microchips. If this tiny chip is necessary to keep a satellite functioning, then its absence would clearly be detrimental.
Maybe you or someone you know has experienced the excruciating pain of a kidney stone. These small crystals, which are usually less than half of an inch in diameter, can cause a six-foot, 250-pound, grown man to huddle over in tears.
James makes reference to three tiny things that have tremendous power. A bit in a horse’s mouth can control the large animal, a small rudder can steer a huge ship and a little spark can start a deadly wildfire.
These illustrate the power the tongue has over the body. A tongue laced with evil is like a match that ignites a raging forest fire. On the other hand, a tongue laced with good is like a rudder steering a ship safely to harbor.
Your words have the power to make or ruin someone’s day. Even more, they have the power to give life or destroy it. Proverbs 15:4 says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit” (NIV).
“No human being can tame the tongue” (James 3:8) can be a disheartening message. It is impossible for us to hold back our tongues from poisoning ourselves and others. Thankfully, we know Someone who does not fall into the “human being” category. In this case, it is our big God that has power over our little tongues.
Though we are powerless against our sin nature that reveals itself in our speech, if we are followers of Christ, we are led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14). The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26), teaches us, and reminds us of Christ’s teaching (John 14:26).
Pray today that the Spirit of God would give you the power that only He can give to tame your tongue. Ask Him to remind you, as words begin to come out of your mouth, of what Jesus desires.