Daily Devotional – James‬ 3:6 – November 27, 2023

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
James‬ 3:6‬

James 3 discusses the importance of our speech, the impact of our words, and most importantly how Christians ought to hone in on taming the tongue. The chapter begins with two analogies, comparing the tongue first to a bit that is put into a horse’s mouth and then secondly to a rudder on a ship. In both analogies, James emphasizes how what seems like such a small piece is critical to the direction each goes. The rudder on a ship helps a captain steer, and a bit in a horse’s mouth guides the animal according to where the rider wants to go. The same can be said of the tongue. While small, it has the impact to either build us up or bring our life to ruins. The words that roll off of our tongue can change the whole direction of our lives.

It only takes a single spark to start a forest fire. Our words can often be similar to that spark, and there can be grave consequences for how we speak. The Lord God made us, Christians, in his likeness. Perhaps on Sunday morning your find yourself in a pew at church praising God with your tongue, communing with God in prayer, singing songs of praise, or encouraging fellow believers. Perhaps you use your tongue to share the Good News one minute, but what about the next? Out of the same mouth that comes praise also comes profanity, gossip, or even malicious deceit.

This should not be the case for Christians. As a spring cannot produce both fresh and salt water, Christians cannot let their tongue be used for both praise and evil. If you have ever felt like you were alone in your struggle with your tongue, you are not! This Scripture indicates that the battle the tongue is not only Biblical but has been ongoing for long before you were born.

Our words reveal our heart’s conditions. When we use crude, foul, rude, hateful, or demeaning language, we are not praising God but instead showing a true character of sin. As a Christ follower you should not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth. Do not be a hypocrite, but strive today to use your tongue for good, for praises appealing to God. Let go of the filthy language you may use at work, the gossip between friends, or even the slanderous things you might say in the heat of an argument. Instead, seek to let God guide you in your words and conversations.


Please let my tongue be a spark of goodness and praise in my life. Do not let my words spark a fire of evil that will compromise my own life or those of my neighbors, but please help me to be intentional in the words I choose in each and every conversation. Help me to choose praise over gossip, lies, or any sort of conversation that is not pleasing to you.
In Jesus’ Name,

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