GPS: August 19, 2016

By August 19, 2016Devotional

Today’s Scripture:

James 3:1-12

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Food For Thought:

The line that stands out to me in this passage of Scripture is: “…the tongue is a small member, yet it boast of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze with a small fire.” I think what the writer is trying to explain is that our tongues (words) can have a major impact upon others. We need to be careful of what we say to others. This passage really speaks to me because I struggle to find the kind Christian words that God would have me say sometimes. I do not mince my words. I am a straight shooter and I often say what I’m thinking. Sometimes this has gotten me in trouble. I have to practice the art of taming my tongue―not saying exactly what I’m thinking about a particular situation. Think about the tongue. How can your words build up? How can your words tear down?


O God, living Lord,

you are the author of faith.

engrave on our hearts

the gospel revealed in Jesus Christ

and brought near to us by your Holy Spirit,

that we may attest to this faith

in lives that are pleasing to you. Amen.


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