Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hold Your Tongue!

James 3:5
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

Have you ever posted an innocuous spark of a comment on Facebook only to have it burst like wildfire with "likes", comments and sharing? Most of the time, the posts of friends offer lively, witty, and humorous remarks that fan the flame in others to joining in the fun; tongues are wagging gleefully and harmlessly. There are instances, however, almost always in conversations stemming from some political source or controversial article, that can begin jauntily enough, but ultimately degenerate into downright nasty, degrading, and insulting commentaries better left unsaid no matter how self-righteous or indignant the offended and/or offending party is. And, when the profanity enters, I simply close the door to the whole shebang.

James knew that our tongues, albeit small, were the most difficult members of our bodies to tame. With the rise of social networking, the words we type to friends should be regarded as carefully as it we were speaking to them in person or on the phone. Perhaps, with the lack of inflection and nuance the written word conveys, we should be all the more vigilant in subduing our tongues, especially if we harbor the tiniest shred of doubt as to whether or not the reader could wrongly interpret our message. I, unfortunately, and I would suppose a few of you, have learned this the hard way.

As Christians, I believe we have to practice the greatest restraint in matters of the tongue. We are children of the light, but the darkness which would love to envelope us is only a shadowy, slip-of-the-tongue away. If we are put off by or unsure of how to respond to a comment, it is best, for our sake and for the sake of others, to remain tongue-tied. Holding our tongues takes concerted effort, but it is a discipline well worth developing.

Psalms 38 or 119:25-48
1 Kings 9:24-10:13
James 3:1-12
Mark 15:1-11


  1. Words can never be taken back nor the hurt it causes... Our tongues have a way of shooting out words that we don't like or want to hear...
    Sometimes it is best to be silent....

  2. Hi Martha!!
    You're very correct and the other thing is email . I have seen a lot of friendships end because of heated emails etc. I have even had some of mine misunderstood so now if it is a touchy subject, I either let it sit overnight or reread and edit. Like spoken words, once an email is sent, you can't take it back!!
    God bless you Marth!

  3. I agree with Savira. Sometimes it’s better to keep silent...

    I've seen some FB debates. Two political opposites going at it like boxers in the ring. Back and forth they punch each other with words. And the thread goes on a mile!

    What amazed me is that said lady looked like the sweetest thing at St. Timothy’s, I just thought her an angel. She looks like one. But when she (far left) and the artist opponent (far right) climb in that FB ring, look out! Danger zone!

    To me, that’s why politics are just plain ugly. I’m sorry, but it can be downright divisive and mean.

  4. Thanks to all of you for your insights and comments. Yes, those knock-down-drag-outs are horrendous, especially in politics. It is a great idea to sit on something overnight or even a day or two before considering a post because words, once said, can never be retracted.

    Blessings to all!


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