James 3:5 How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8 but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.
Interesting how James speaks of tongues as if they have minds of their own. Of course, that’s not the way it works is it? We are responsible for what comes out of our mouths, good or evil. James warns us of this, of the great responsibility we have in guarding our speech.
Yet today some of the most damaging words aren’t spoken with the tongue, but are sent via text message or twitter or Facebook or any number of social media platforms. As a result careless words can do far more damage today than in ancient times. Back then reach was limited to those in earshot. Today we can hit “send” and literally reach millions of people instantly. James’ warning couldn’t be more timely for you and me.
Lord give us grace to use good judgment when we hit “send”. Because our words, spoken and otherwise, matter. Amen.