3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 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. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:1-6
The Bible writings of James come straight to the point. In this segment of scripture from Chapter 3, notice several revealing revelations which are given.
1. The judgement of those who teach will be more strict.
2. We all stumble in many ways.
3. Bits in the mouths of horses make them obedient.
4. Huge ships are directed by small rudders.
5. Our tongue is a small part of the body but it makes great boasts.
James further says you can understand this part about the tongue when you consider a huge forest can be set on fire and destroyed by just a small spark. He is letting us know our speech, by just a small part of our bodies, the tongue, can be a world of evil, resulting in the corruption of the whole body. It sets the whole course for one's life. And itself is set on fire by hell.
This week I received a question concerning this part of James writing. The question asked why we have problems with recurring sins. Now might be a good time to refresh our memory of verse 2, "We all stumble in many ways." Are there sins which are more difficult to overcome than others? We know there are. And our God, being in the business of forgiving and loving us and extending his grace toward us, will be with us through the process. Remember that sin is still sin, and even as Christians we wrestle with it regularly.
Paul says "we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." Romans 6:11
In dealing with that sin which continues in our lives as Christians, depend on God's power by praising him for his love, and his continuing grace. We need his forgiveness. Pray for his power to make you an overcomer.