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:  James 3:2  (Amplified)  "For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things.  And if any one does not offend in speech - never says the wrong things - he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature."

The tongue is a very small part of our body, yet it is one of the most powerful members.  James said that the tongue is like the small rudder on a ship that causes the entire ship to go whichever direction the pilot turns it.  When the rudder of the ship is turned just a little too far to the left or to the right, it causes the ship to get totally off course.  Our tongue has this same ability as it speaks into our own lives or the lives of others.  Our words can be instruments in keeping others on the right course or pushing them in the wrong direction.

Proverbs 18:21 says, "There is life and death in the power of the tongue."  Our negative words are able to tear down and minister death.  For this reason we are not to vent our frustrations at the expense of someone else's feelings.  A small harsh word may seem as nothing at the time, but it becomes a small seed that is sown into the garden of another person's heart.  This small seed of disapproval is capable of taking root and growing into a mighty tree of rejection, which will create strongholds in the mind of the one who received it.  However, when we speak positive words, we encourage and minister life.  We minister grace to the hearer by planting good seeds that will comfort their spirit and also shape and mold their lives in a positive way.


David was a man after God's own heart and yet he asked God to help him with his words.  He prayed, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer" (Psalms 19:14).  He understood the power of words and how difficult it was to keep his words pure and pleasing to God.

Since words are so mysteriously powerful, we must think about them before sowing them into the life of another.  In as much as possible, we should examine them as we would a seed that we are preparing to plant and determine if they are seeds from the Holy Spirit.  Are they ministering love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control?  If not, we must submit them to God and ask Him to help us exercise control over the words of our mouth.  As we strive not to offend, we will become the one whom James spoke of, one that is "a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature." +++

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