Taming of the Tongue

Until recently, we were pretty much in the dark about the human body but then came the X-ray with its peeping eye… a marvelous instrument which has shed much light on the insides of the human body.

It has been able to show us the human heart, the throat, the brain but yet there are limitations.

While an x-ray can show the heart it has never been able to show us the soul. While it can show the throat the actual voice it cannot reveal to us and while we can do a scan that shows the brain an x-ray cannot show us the mind. Nevertheless, Medical Science has done much to help us better understand the functioning of the human body and has aided in the recovery of many who suffer from various illnesses.

As human beings we have achieved much over the decades. We have figured out creative ways to improve our human condition. For example, if our eyes are getting dim, we can get glasses to improve our vision. If our kidneys or heart fail, we have the option to get a transplant.

These are all awesome discoveries.

There is one member of the body however that has never been transplanted, from what I know. This member of the body is forever in use and has landed many of us in trouble over the years. If we used our arms and legs as much as we use this body part, we’d be incredibly stiff and sore but this member never gets tired. It is always going and I have never seen one with a splint on it.

That member is the tongue.

My mother spoke to me a lot about the tongue. She sprinkled her daily conversations with wise sayings such as, “Keep your tongue between your teeth” and “Think twice before you speak once.” My mother would also tell us, “Remember, one day you will answer to God for every word you say.” She was pretty smart when it came to the tongue and only later was I able to truly appreciate the wisdom she was sharing with me.

James, an author in the Bible also wrote about the tongue. He tells us that the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. He calls the tongue a fire, the very world of iniquity. James goes on to tell us that this body member is:
1.    Untamable;
2.    A restless evil full of deadly poison;
3.    Used both to bless God and to curse men.

In all this James shares how we can attain perfection. He tells us, ‘a man who doesn’t stumble in what he says is a perfect man.’ (James 3:2-10)

I wonder how startled James would be today to find out how much we have “conquered” as human beings.  We have put men into big, fancy tin cans, and shot them off into space. We have sent men into submarines diving to the deep belly of the ocean and staying there unharmed for months. Man has felt the moon under his feet and has left his footprints on the ocean floor. We have also put some fantastic canisters up in the sky, bouncing our voices off these satellites to countries around the world.

Look at how we have harnessed the wind with giant windmills, and made the rivers and waterfalls drive our turbines. What incredible power man has over his world! And yet, he has still not conquered his own tongue. The tongue which is the seat of such evil, a world of iniquity as James puts it. The tongue has destroyed many relationships and business prospects. It has killed many seeds that had the potential to develop into something beautiful.

A Scottish proverb goes, ‘keep your tongue a prisoner and your body will go free.’Today choose freedom. If what you want to utter will not bring life or uplift another human bring, choose to keep silent.

[Photo credit: http://www.ravenhill.org/tongue.htm]

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