Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

Look at Jesus life! You will find perfection. Not only in what He did but in everything He said.

Students of Jesus, who seek to be like their Teacher, soon discover how difficult it is to control their tongues. In fact, as James says, if we could fully control our tongues, we would be perfect.

Here James uses six images that speak of the power, influence and danger of the tongue.

A bit, a rudder, a raging fire, a wild animal, a spring of either sweet or bitter water, and fruit of one kind or another!

A Bit – Small but Controlling
A Rudder – Extremely Influential
A Raging Fire – Dangerously Destructive
A Wild Animal - Uncontrollable
A Spring – either Sweet or Bitter
A Fruit – either One Kind or Another

Obviously, how well one controls the tongue is critical to spiritual health and well-being. Everyone would do well to become more like Jesus and seek to tame the tongue!

One who allows free reign to their speech, saying whatever comes to mind – good or bad - destroys their life.

It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire.

The tongue is also a powerful force for good. Our words can speak health, comfort, encouragement, truth, peace, mercy, joy and love.

This is the challenge for every student of Jesus. Tame the tongue! Restrain its destructive potential! Release its life-giving power into the lives of those around us.

This is the way Jesus has shown us.

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