Do you choose water or gasoline?
“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 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. 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. 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. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (NIV) James 3:2-13
This devotional was inspired by a message from one American preacher by name Joel Osteen and we humbly acknowledge him. We felt it was high time we wrote about this conviction we have held as a family and has helped in our quest to live holy lives.
The devotional text says it all. Are we holy if we cannot bridle our tongues? We want to look at spreading bad rumours. Proverbs 11:13 says “a gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” (NIV). A wise and a matured Christian does not encourage hearsays! One tagline I often use with my students goes like “Hearsays are cheap! Find the authentic source of information before you even make use of it!"
What do we do when we hear a bad rumour? Are we bold to tell the party carrying these rumours we are not interested or do we spread it like wild fire? So this is a question for all of us; what would we choose: water to quench these rumours thereby making sure it doesn’t spread further or we choose gasoline to light it up?
May we bridle our tongues in the quest of being peacemakers and living a holy life that pleases our maker!