Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Little Member...
You might be expecting to read about my youngest child because of the title...but there's a smaller member that I am referring to.
It is the tongue.
What? Yes. The tongue. My pastor (AKA my hubby) has been teaching from the book of James during our mid-week prayer service.
Now, whether you are a follower of Christ or not, I think you should read on.
I was so enlightened last night. I've read the passage that he taught on so many times, but I must've really needed to hear it just then, because it sure struck a nerve.
Have you really ever thought about your tongue? It is such a small member of the body, yet it can do much good or it can do much harm!
James 3:2-5 says:
"2For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"
James compares the tongue to a bit in a horses mouth or the helm on a ship. He says that like those small things that control a much larger thing, so is the tongue! I shudder to think how many times I could've used my tongue to control the rest of myself to be a better person. How many times could I have used my tongue to be an encouragement or comfort, but instead, I was a stumbling block.
James goes on to say:
7For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
How is it that so many of us can be so sweet and kind and then so nasty all at once? I have met many wonderful people that do not profess to be Christians, yet they have a better control of their tongue and actions then some that do. On the other hand, I've met people that say they don't want anything to do with Christianity because of this person or that person that was such a bad example. That always makes me feel bad, because obviously, that person they are referring to must have other issues and unfortunately professes to know Christ. This is not what Christianity is and unfortunately, we've gotten a "bad rap" because of those that try to speak of Christ and with the same tongue, curse men.
James also says:
13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Isn't that an eye-opener? Are you sharing your wisdom without being boastful? Are you following verse 17? Refer to verse 16. No wonder there are people who are confused about Christians.
Now, I am a Christian. I follow Christ and try to let others see that in me. However, I make mistakes, I get angry, I get envious, I am partial, etc. BUT as a Christian, I know it is not right and try to make it right. I try to have mercy on those that do it to me and I don't want to hold grudges and grow bitter.
This brings us to verse 18 - THEM THAT MAKE PEACE...how are you spending your time? Are you sharing loving and kind words with those you come in contact with? Nobody's perfect and certainly can not go around with a "Pollyanna" attitude all the time, but it would be better than an ugly, I am the victim, nobody likes me, here's what's wrong with YOU attitude all the time.
Think about it. What has your "little member" been doing lately? A bit that has been ill fit or a helm that is not functioning properly can cause a lot of damage. I have seen churches, families, friendships, businesses...destroyed and it started with just a "little member". I have also seen children that grow up with a wonderful spirit and attitude on life, husbands that feel like they are worthy, wives and friends that are validated, businesses and churches bloom and grow because of a "little member".
It all depends on how you use it. Your choice. Own it.