James 3:6 – The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.
In this verse, James goes straight to the heart of human problems. James says, “No one can tame the tongue” (James 3:8). Only Jesus was able to control His tongue, He did this by only saying what He heard His Father saying. The Holy Spirit was given to bring forth the life of Christ in each believer. He begins with the heart because the issues of life flow from the heart. Next, He wants to control our tongue. It is profitable for believers to give themselves a personal evaluation. Consider what changes have taken place with your words since you believed. Have there been changes such as cursing, taking the Lord’s name in vain, or harsh comments toward or about others? Then think about what changes still need to take place, such as a soft answer, more positive conversation, and words for encouraging others around you.
The fire of the tongue can be quenched by the “water of the Word of God.” It is through the Holy Spirit that the tongue can be controlled. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). What a great prayer that David gave us! Why not daily ask the Lord for His help regarding your words and the things you think about? Invite the Holy Spirit to be in charge of your conversation. Freely give your heart and mind to Him day by day so He has your permission to assist you in what comes out of your mouth. It might take a while to break old patterns of speech, but He will faithfully help if you will be persistent.
“Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue” (Psalm 15:1-3). The Psalmist lists a few things that God cares about. Walking in integrity speaks of values and wholeness. The first step in quenching the fire of the tongue is to be established in the value of relationship. That is, caring about the feelings of others. Next is experiencing your own wellness. This means coming to a place of wholeness through Christ. Another area that concerns our Lord is works of righteousness. Works of righteousness are rooted in what pleases God and what affects others in a positive way for their good. A third area is learning to speak truth from the heart. A healthy heart, spiritually speaking, becomes a fountain of kind words that cleanses others. Last, is guarding your tongue from slandering another individual. Make it a habit to not uncover another person’s weaknesses in front of other people.
Father, I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to tame my tongue. I trust You to help me with the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart. I pray that both will be acceptable to You.