James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!
Taming the tongue concerns more than taming the tongue of the mouth. James most likely never imagined a world where people voiced thoughts that reached the eyes of hundreds with the press of the “post” button. In today’s world of social media, e-mail, texts, and all forms of written communication, many use the tongue of the mind to write thoughts as much, if not more than, the tongue of the mouth to speak.
Words spring from our mind. Before the first muscle twitches in our mouth, the tongue of the mind has voiced the thought and sent it flying along the nerve endings to become our speech. Likewise, that same tongue of the mind sends thoughts along nerve endings to quicken our hands as we write. The tongue of the mind is a single fountain from which all our communication flows. Left untamed, it voices hurtful and damaging thoughts about others. Left untamed, it is our own cruelest critic. Left untamed, it voices self-hate and cruel words of criticism that we would never say to someone we love and would never allow another to say to us.
In this time that James likely never imagined, we must exercise extraordinary care. We must care to speak words of self-love and use our thoughts to recognize our true value. We must silence the inner critic. We must muzzle the inner perfectionist, mister or missus “never good enough”. No one needs Greta Gremlin living in our mind… have Positive Pamela throw her out. Train the mind with positive words.
We must also exercise extraordinary care to tame the tongue as it relates to what we write in texts, e-mails, and social media posts. Speak words of encouragement. Muzzle words of criticism. Look only to heal and never to wound.
Proverbs 25:11 says – A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. We have the power to bring the tongue of our mind under much better control. We own our words; therefore, we own their impact. Hurt or healing? Tame the tongue of the mind and the tongue of the mouth will follow.