James 3:3-6 MSG “A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.”
Words are powerful. Do you remember the old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” I think a more accurate expression is “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart.” James likens the power of our words to a horse bit, or a ship rudder. A WORD. A single word. It doesn’t take a long line of strung-together-sentences to create or destroy. If that in and of itself doesn’t make you want to take inventory of your speech, then I don’t know what will! We are made in the image of God, and how did Christ create? With HIS WORD! How do we think our words aren’t powerful? We create our world with our words. Think of this, we are right now living the lives we have created with our words. If we don’t like that world, aren’t thriving in that world, then guess what? We have the power to re-create it! I love how James closes out this passage, “by our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it.” Yet another reminder to watch our mouths.
How many of the words that come out of your mouth are reactionary? Words, comments, remarks, expressions? I would venture to say that most of the words we have said that we wish we could take back, are reactionary words. Today let’s consecrate reacting. Let us weigh our words against the The Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt you to stop and think BEFORE you speak.