It is in the middle of the night, and insomnia has struck me again. I know I will be a walking zombie tomorrow/this morning when I go to work, but I just can't sleep. I've tried warm milk, counting sheep, taking a hot shower, and even reading. Nothing has helped so far. Anyway, at least I have been constructive while I have been awake; I have been reading my Bible. Last year, I wrote a devotion called Spitting Poison. In the devotion, I compared the poison of a snake to the poison we speak with our tongues. Tonight I was reading about the untamable tongue in James chapter 3. I love the way he describes our tongue in verse 4: He says, "Look also at ships, although they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Even so, the tongue is a little member that boasts great things."
As a teacher, I have learned how much what I say effects my students, good or bad. One little compliment can build up a student just as much as a negative comment can tear them down. Some are more effected than others, but all of them are effected to some degree. I need to be more aware of what I say and how I say it. When I think of some of the negative things I have said in the past, I feel so ashamed and embarrassed. I can always ask that person to forgive me, and they may always do it. But forgiving and forgetting are two different things. It is almost impossible to forget hurtful words that are directed toward us. James goes on to say in verse 8 that only God can tame our tongues. I pray that He will continue to tame mine by teaching me to use it for praising and not for cursing. We have power with our words. How will we choose to use that power?
Proverbs 21:23 says, "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity."
Dear Lord, please forgive me for saying hurtful things to others. Teach me to use my tongue for building up instead of for tearing down. In Jesus name, Amen.