“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” (James 3:1-12 NKJV)
I’ve been making my way through the book of James very slowly for a while—soaking it all up. It has definitely been on point for where Philip and I are at right now. And as these past few days (and nights) have been pretty rough with Emarosa teething, I’ve had to hold and comfort her a lot and try various things to sooth her pain all while losing sleep. Last night I finally got some rest (thanks to my incredible mommy), but lo and behold, I awoke at 5 A.M. So, here I am…
God had me re-read chapter 3 because my good ol’ faithful-to-fail tongue and I have been tested a lot lately through this lack of sleep issue. To put it lightly, when this lady doesn’t get rest, she turns into an ugly lady with a bad mouth. Haha…now I’m definitely being real with you guys. FYI, this blog is not intended to be fluff or a contextualized selfie of “look at me, Mrs. Proverbs 31 rockin’ mom and wifey!” Heck no! This is my space to talk about REAL things that’ll hopefully encourage and spur on my fellow sojourners. Side note/rant there…
With this tongue, I have the power to bless and curse. With this tongue, I have the power to lift or destroy my husband. With this tongue, I have the power to encourage or belittle a friend. With this tongue, I have the power to build or put down the church. With this tongue, I have the power to live or die…
It blows my mind how much destruction the tongue can cause. Really think about it…you can make or break just about every area of your life by what you speak over it. Our reputation isn’t only built on what we do but by what we speak. Do you really think any ladies are going to trust me as a friend just by the service they see me doing if I’m also a gossiper? If this tongue babbled every word a friend spoke to me, I’d have none! In a similar way, no situation is going to go well if I curse it from the beginning. Sometimes biting my tongue will have to do if I can’t say anything that’ll improve the situation. Oh man, I’ve definitely had to put this into practice lately! Tell me I’m not alone here?!
God’s challenged me to really dig deep and examine my heart. Lack of rest, temptation, pressure, stress, or anything of that nature can bring out the ugly and real in anyone; therefore, showing us what we really need to be tackling in our prayer life.
So my prayer is this, that I would allow for His Holy Spirit to take hold of this tongue of mine. That I would pray before I speak (thinking can get me in just as much or even more trouble I’ve come to find). That I would speak leadership and strength over my husband. That I would speak growth and provision over my daughter. That I would speak love and unity over my church. That I would speak trust and lovingkindness over my friends. That I would speak BLESSINGS over my entire life and family. I know this tongue is flesh which means it won’t ever be perfect or tamed just as the word says, but that doesn’t mean my Father and I can’t work on it. It’s all a process.
After all, He is perfect and He lives in me.
Speaking blessings over you,
Erica and Emarosa Joy