THE USE OF THE TONGUE - PART 1
The Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines tongue as “manner or quality of utterance with respect to tone or sound, the sense of what is expressed, or the intention of the speaker.
The tongue is a part of the human body used primarily for taste and speech. Speech is one of the supreme distinctions between man and the lower animals. The power of expressing thought in articulate language, and written speech, and giving it an incarnate body and a tangible immortal life, is one of the high prerogatives of rational beings. The tongue is small when compared to the size of the human body; however, its use can bring about positive and/or negative outcome to the life of a man. The misuse of the tongue has been known to cause confusion to humans. Given the importance of the tongue, Apostle James devoted a chapter to the discussion of the tongue.
The objective of this series is to look at some of the characteristics of the tongue outlined in the book of James and identify ways to align the use of our tongues with the purpose of the Kingdom.
Some Characteristics of the Tongue
Let us briefly review some of characteristics of the tongue as outlined in the text:
The Tongue is a little member and boasts great things (v.5)- Size doesn’t seem to matter to the power of the tongue. A little member yet so powerful to cause havoc in the world and amongst family members. That may be the reason for boasting.
It is a fire that kindles a forest (v. 6) – It can start small but can cause great devastation when uncontrolled.
A world of iniquity, It defiles the whole body (v. 6) – So much hatred and iniquity can be spread through a wrong use of the tongue with potential to cause disaffection among groups of persons and defile a whole body or people group.
The tongue can be an unruly evil, and its untamable without the help of the Holy Spirit (v 7-8) – Self-Control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit evident in a believer who has surrendered his/her life to Christ. This helps control the use of the tongue. Without the power of the Holy Spirit in a Christian the tongue can be abused which can cause damage to relationships among individuals and groups.
The tongue can be used for a dual purpose.- The Passage says we use the same tongue to bless God and curse men. These are inconsistent usage that outlines the danger of an uncontrolled tongue. It means it’s capable of making a good conversion and at the same time cause strife among brethren.
To be continued..