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A Tongue Lashing

James 3:4-5,8 A ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship. And the one who controls the rudder decides where the ship will go. It goes where he wants it to go. It is the same with our tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it can boast about doing great things. A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. … But no one can control the tongue. It is wild and evil, full of deadly poison.

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A Tongue Lashing


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We often don’t think all that much about the things we say and how we say them. We just kind of blurt things out. But the problem with that is the things that we say have the power to destroy relationships. And once they’re said, they can’t be un-said.

I was on a short cruise recently taking a break as we all need to do from time to time, and what amazed me was the sheer size of the ship. Over a thousand feet long and fifteen stories high.

And yet when it came to docking this 125,000-ton ship, the captain did it so delicately, it was amazing. And he does most of it with his hand on a tiny joystick, similar to the ones you find on games consoles. Incredible, but that’s the power of a rudder.

James 3:4-5,8 A ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship. And the one who controls the rudder decides where the ship will go. It goes where he wants it to go. It is the same with our tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it can boast about doing great things. A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. … But no one can control the tongue. It is wild and evil, full of deadly poison.

The things we say to people, and how we say them – all too often, without even thinking – can absolutely destroy a relationship. One brutal outburst, one tongue lashing, can in an instant, destroy a relationship that’s taken years to build.

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.

So, a quick reminder today. The words that you speak can be powerful – powerful indeed. They can have the power to do good or bad; to build up or destroy.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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