Even so the tongue is a little member and boast great things. James 3:5
The human tongue is physically small, but what tremendous effects it can boast of! (Phillips)
Proverbs 18:21– “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” How true we know that to be! It would not be unlikely that each of us, within this very week, wrestled with our tongues. God’s Word does not diminish the power of our words. In James 3 we see within our very words lie some of our greatest failings. James states our words can create fires, they are untamable, full of poison and evil, set on fire by hell itself. You and I are not the only ones who stumble with our words. There may be some consolation in that! The humblest man on all the earth was Moses (Num. 12:3), but Psalm106:33 reveals he “spoke rashly with his lips.” Job– blameless, upright, one who feared God & shunned evil… none like him (Job 1:8), we learn in 40:4 he realized he needed to have a muzzle over his mouth. Isaiah, the one who gloriously prophesied of the profound silence of his Lord being led to the cross in his 53rd chapter— admitted in chapter 6 that his own lips were terribly unclean with sin. The burly fisherman, Peter, declaring his immunity of stumbling in speech (Matt. 26:33, 69-75) before the very night is over, collapses with his mouth three times. Another fisherman, John, known as the Apostle of Love… is wanting to call down fire to consume an entire village of people. Paul simply admits in Romans 7:18, that nothing good dwells within him, and that certainly includes his tongue. None of us are unique in our failings of our words. Is there any hope?
Colossians 4:6 tells us to “let our speech always be with grace.” The salty, over- confident, fire-calling fishermen, Peter and John, are testimony of how this is done. And we can do this also. We see this in Acts 4:13, the tension is high with hostility, the setting with the powerful and highly trained is intimidating. Peter and John are brought before men who are in positions of great human authority. Peter then speaks about salvation for the souls of men through none but Jesus. In this audience, this would not seem to bode well, in fact it would likely be inflammatory. And then we read– “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And realized they had been with Jesus.” One more time, this from the Amplified Version– “Now when they saw the boldness and unfettered eloquence of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and untrained in the schools [common men with no educational advantages], they marveled; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
“They had been with Jesus.” That is the key to so very much. To be with Him you must know Him as the very Savior you need for the rescue of your soul. We need Him daily to help guide us through the perplexity of life. We need Him simply to control our tongues so that we might reflect, with words of grace, that very grace and mercy He has been so magnificent towards us with. And, by the way, there was one with faultless speech… Jesus. In John 7:46, we read– “No man ever spoke like this Man.” Another reason I need to be with Him!