Men, have you ever said something you wish you could take back? Have you ever had your tongue and heart get out of sync and the words come out all wrong? Well the Bible says, “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body” (James 3:2-6).

The tongue is a fire; that’s a good way to look at it. We’ve all lit a few fires with careless words. And, those fires can get out of control in a hurry. That’s when the tongue becomes a world of evil.

But, not all fires are bad, and certainly not everything we say is either. A controlled tongue, like a controlled fire, can do much good.

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

“Kind words, pleasant words are sweet to the soul and can heal and strengthen and encourage. Like apples of gold in settings of silver is the right word at the right time” (Proverbs 25:11).

As kind words are like split oak on a campfire, harsh words are like gasoline. If you want to fire up an argument or strife, it’s easy; just let go of the rudder, and let the tongue do its thing.

The difference between a tongue that brings healing and one that leaves scorched earth behind is control.

“The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil” (Proverbs 15:28).

If you don’t want to stumble, you have to look where you are going. In the same way, consider your words before you speak them; keep your hand on the rudder. Your words can be gasoline or honey; think about it!


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