Oh my goodness, have ya’ll been reading along in James over the last week? I finished and agree with the pastor who said it is a very practical book. Chapter 3 was the most thought provoking for me. In my bible it is subtitled “Controlling the Tongue”. It just so happens that we talk about this a lot at my house. I have this increible book that I have used for over 13 years now called “Praying the Scriptures for your Children” by Jodi Berndt. It was gifted to me in 2004 (when I found out I was expecting my first child) by my cousin who is more like a sister, Ashley. I have loved this little book and used it to pray over not just my children but so many circumstances & people in my life. I have now given this book as a gift countless times to other Mommas. All that to say, if you don’t have it, order it or go pick it up and you’ll be glad you did.
If you have ever heard me speak, you have probably heard me share about this book and I always share the two scriptures that have probably been prayed the most over my two kids. Lawson’s comes from Titus 2 & begins like this “Help Lawson to be self-controlled” & Bella’s comes from Psalm 141 and starts like this “Set a guard over Bella’s mouth, O Lord” Bless it. She gets it honest from both ways I’m afraid and just as it is for most of us, it only surfaces when she is angry. Sometimes in anger it it is easy to speak harshly and deliver words that cut and hurt but cannot be taken back. James 3 speaks directly to that and I was overwhelmed by the words of James. He was wise and I think he had lived a little to come to these conclusions.
James 3:2 states “if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body” Think about that! James is saying if we can control our tongue then we can control our whole body. He uses the analogy that anyone who grew up in chuch has heard a thousand times about the ship and the rudder. Ships are huge but yet they are guided by an incredibly small part, the rudder. He likens that to the tongue that is a small part of the body but has great potential to either do great good or do great harm. He compares it to a forest fire, a small blaze can be started in a forest and if not tended, it gets out of control and destroys the whole forest. Our mouths and the words we speak can have the same effect. James says the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. Here is the part that really struck me, verse 9 says “with the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness”.
As a teenager I can remember hearing people with foul mouths joke with another and say things like “you kiss your mother with that mouth?” & this is the same concept. We have one mouth and if with it we sometimes pray and worship God but then turn around and curse other humans who were made just like us in God’s likeness, we are not using the gift of speech well. We are all guilty of it, people will make us mad and the natural tendency is to lash out but if we become aware of the power of the tongue then we can begin to live our lives doling out supernatural responses rather than natural ones.
James 1:27 says “keep yourselves unstained from the world” but man alive is that hard to do. It is a continual process for sure. My husband is a beautiful example of someone who was stained by the world but was then redeemed and lived to tell the story. We were speaking with someone yesterday about our son and some of the problems he has had at school and how we are so thankful for his spiritual gift of mercy and that so far he seems unstained by it all. We pray that his sweet spirit and forigving heart always stay in tact no matter what comes. My husband would tell you that the world & circumstances did in fact crush him. He gave in & built up lots of walls that led him down a path of destruction & almost cost him everything. He was a tender little boy much like our son but the world told him he had to be tough and not feel his feelings so he became tough and he didn’t feel and his heart grew hard and that was the beginning of alot of hard years. Thankfully, in 2013 the Lord rescued him and gave him a new heart & we are forever grateful for this new man that we get to call husband and Daddy. Brad’s life verse is Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Now we pray that same verse over our residents at Cross Roads Recovery.
Just yesterday morning we had a situation that made it hard to control tongues. I work out early in the mornings & when I get home at 6:30, Brad goes to Cross Roads. I get the kids up and ready, lunches made and then he picks them up at 7:45 and drives them to school. Yesterday morning was just one of those chaotic mornings. Lawson was off the chain, Bella was aggravated by Lawson, the dog was aggravated too and was barking her head off, nobody seemed pleased with the lunches I prepared and everybody was being short and snippy. Brad walked in and could tell tension was high so he asked what was wrong and we all had versions of what eachother had done to make the morning nutty. It was past 7:45 and they should have been loading up but instead Brad pulled us all in close & prayed over us. We stood there in a circle with arms around one another as he prayed the sweetest prayer and reminded us to be thankful always & to remember the Lord’s faithfulness because there was a time, years ago, that we were going through all of these routines without him because he was not living in our home. Perspective. Sometimes that is all we need.
Don’t let the world stain you today, stand up to your fears and to your hard circumstances and tell them how big your God is. And as far as taming the tongue, that will be a life long pursuit. Progress not perfection:)
Thank you for following me along this writing journey and I can’t wait until I have a book to share with you! God Bless you all!