James 3:7-8 says “7For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
Today’s lesson is yet another continuation on from previous lessons. Yesterday we learnt how the tongue is a small thing but is capable of great things. We learnt that it is a fire, a world of iniquity which is capable of defiling the whole body. The last thing we learnt yesterday is that our words affect our entire being and that the tongue is “set on fire of hell”.
Today we are learning more about the tongue. Verse 7 says “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” James here is setting us up with a comparison. The bible tells us that every animal: every mammal, every insect, every bird, every reptile, every amphibian and every fish has been tamed by mankind. Just as a quick side note the word ‘beasts’ in Greek means a wild or dangerous animal. With this is mind, take any zoo; what does it contain? It contains all manner of animals, most of which are dangerous! Are these animals a threat though? Generally, no (I say generally because I’ve heard some pretty crazy zoo animal escape stories!) These animals are not a threat because they have been tamed. We use horses to pull ploughs, we use dogs for hunting and scavenging, Noah used birds as testers to see if the water had gone and some circuses have performing elephants, bears or even fleas! The bottom line is that man has a pretty good grasp on taming animals. If you go to any safari park, any zoo, any aquarium, any bird park or any reptile house you are going to see animals that have been tamed. Sharks, lions, bears, tigers, monkeys, snakes, lizards; you name it, somewhere has it. With this in mind we move on to our next point.
Verse 8 says “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” There are just some things out of man’s control though; one of them is taming the tongue. The verse says ‘no man’ can tame the tongue. When the bible says no man it means no man! No-one is capable of taming their own tongue. It’s funny that man has the capability to tame all other things except himself! The next phrase in the verse shows us why it cannot be tamed. The bible calls the tongue “an unruly evil”. The word ‘unruly’ here means unrestrainable. No man can restrain his tongue. Have you ever been in a situation where you were splitting at the seams wanting to say something but trying with all your might to keep it in, but eventually blurting it out and causing problems? You walk away thinking “why couldn’t I just keep my mouth shut?!” however I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it, keep in mind that no man can tame the tongue. Keep in mind though, the things man cannot tame, God certainly can! With a little help from the Lord restraining your tongue will be a lot easier.
The last phrase in the verse says that the tongue is “full of deadly poison”. What is the primary purpose of poison? Simply, to kill. Nature uses it to neutralise its prey, man uses it to neutralise fellow-men! This is not just some mild poison though; the poison of the tongue is deadly poison; and if our tongues are poison so too will our words. Poison takes time to work, but it slowly kills the prey. A venomous snake will strike its prey and inject it with venom. The prey does not just drop dead though. The poison takes time to set in. It shuts down the organs one by one until life is impossible to cling on to. Poisonous words are much the same. When they are dropped into someones ear it takes time to spread. It will spread throughout their entire being, completely destroying them. It will affect their mind, their heart and eventually their tongues. Another thing about a poisonous tongue is that it is contagious. Like we learnt yesterday it only takes a small spark to start a huge fire. Small words can have a big impact, and will often lead to bigger words.
How is your tongue today? Are you letting it be unruly? Are you asking God for His help in the matter? If not I urge you to pray each morning and ask Him to guide your tongue and purge the poison from it. Don’t let your tongue become an unrestrainable evil. It is true that no man can control his tongue, but the things that man cannot do, God can do. Ask God to keep the fire at bay before it gets out of control! – Andrew.
Posted on September 27, 2012, in Andrew's Thoughts for the Day and tagged Animal, Bible, Christian, Evil, Human, James, Jesus, Lord, Noah, Poison, Religion and Spirituality, Tongue. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.