James 3:2-12 (CEB)

2 We all make mistakes often, but those who don’t make mistakes with their words have reached full maturity. Like a bridled horse, they can control themselves entirely. 3 When we bridle horses and put bits in their mouths to lead them wherever we want, we can control their whole bodies. 4 Consider ships: they are so large that strong winds are needed to drive them. But pilots direct their ships wherever they want with a little rudder. 5 In the same way, even though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts wildly. Think about this: a small flame can set a whole forest on fire. 6 The tongue is a small flame of fire, a world of evil at work in us. It contaminates our entire lives. Because of it, the circle of life is set on fire. The tongue itself is set on fire by the flames of hell. 7 People can tame and already have tamed every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish. 8 No one can tame the tongue, though. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we both bless the Lord and Father and curse human beings made in God’s likeness. 10 Blessing and cursing come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, it just shouldn’t be this way! 11 Both fresh water and salt water don’t come from the same spring, do they? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree produce olives? Can a grapevine produce figs? Of course not, and fresh water doesn’t flow from a saltwater spring either

James 3:6 (CEB)

6 The tongue is a small flame of fire, a world of evil at work in us. It contaminates our entire lives. Because of it, the circle of life is set on fire. The tongue itself is set on fire by the flames of hell.

DEVOTION – Lorinda Brenize (Pennsylvania)

This past year, I found myself answering people’s questions with snappy words.  Every time someone talked to me.  I replied with a smart remark, which often resulted in an argument.  The harsh words I said started to push me away from the people  cared about most.  Tired of the way I was acting, I started to pray, asking God to help.

One night, I opened my Bible to James 3.  The idea that the tongue is similar to a fire spoke to me.  I reflected on every harsh word I had and wished that I could rewind my life and change my actions.  I found that I spoke evil of others once, I spoke evil the rest of the day.  Like a fire, my harsh words spread.  Unfortunately, once the words had come out of my mouth, I couldn’t take them back.

Over the past few months, I have learned to think before I speak, making sure that I won’t regret what comes out of my mouth.  I have learned that when I speak good of those around me, I express God’s love within me.  Speaking of others in a good way draws me closer to those I care most about and I become more like Christ.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Our words can push others away or draw them nearer to God’s love.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, may the words of my mouth be pleasing to you.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE WHO ARE LEARNING TO CONTROL THEIR SPEECH

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