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James 3:6-8
Tuesday, October 01 2013

Tame the Tongue....

Our tongues can do a great amount of damage:

The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  -James 3:6-8, NAB

St. James continues to describe the power of our words, and this time, he compares our tongues to fire.  He tells us that the fire of our tongues has the power to defile and consume us and gets its power straight from hell (Gehenna).  Powerful imagery!

Like a wildfire, it can be difficult to tame the tongue.  It is a fire that quickly gets out of control and can be difficult to put out.  Our deceitful and evil words take on a life of their own and threaten to destroy everything in their path.

He tells us that we have the power to tame animals, which is true.  We have turned large animals like horses, camels, and even elephants into modes of transportation.  We run farms to mass produce the meat, eggs, and milk we consume.  We tame the wildest beast, such as tigers, simply for our entertainment.

Despite our ability to tame the wildest animals, we still struggle to tame the tongue.  Like a fire, it can be a useful tool, but when it gets out of control, it can destroy everything.  Our tongue can do a lot of good, yet it can also do a lot of evil.


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