DAY 35

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Day 35: Taming the Tongue

James 3:7-8
“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

Devotional
It’s amazing to think that an average adult lion weighs around 420 pounds and without much effort can inflict lethal harm to other animals and humans if it so desires. Lions have been called the king of beasts and are the second largest members of the big cat family of animals. But as majestic and powerful as the lion is, it can also be tamed by someone who knows what they’re doing and has the expertise needed to tame them. Tame: make less powerful and easier to control. 

James makes a significant comparison here and concludes that even with the ability to tame God’s creatures, no human being can actually tame the tongue. Our words, as part of our humanity, are subjected to the sin nature we wage war against each day. The tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. That’s a pretty bleak prognosis. Restless: offering no physical or emotional rest; involving constant activity or motion.

If we could adequately tame our tongues, we’d have no need of a Savior. When James says they’re full of deadly poison, it’s as if he wants to leave no room for excuses or give us room to explain some of them away as being not that bad. Our words are just as infected by sin as the rest of us and must experience a complete overhaul if they’re to be harnessed for good, make a significant kingdom impact, and build up those around us. 

The good news is that for as much as sin has infected our words and rendered them untameable by us, the Spirit of God redeems them completely and renews them for his purposes. There is nothing sin has corrupted that Jesus can’t make new. Thanks be to God.

Prayer
God, thank you for the unending reach of your grace and mercy over us. Thank you that as your children, we are not powerless against sin when your Spirit is working in us to overcome. We trust you with our words and ask that you’d use them for your purposes today.