Bible Reading: James 3:2-12
We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way. James 3:2
A WEALTHY WOMAN once called her cook in and said, “Tonight, the man I love is coming to visit. I would like you to serve us the most pleasant dish you can create.”
That night, the cook served the woman and her love many delicious appetizers. Then he announced, “Tonight’s main course is tongue of pig!”
“Tongue of pig!” the woman echoed. “I told you to serve us the most pleasant dish you could think of!”
The cook nodded. “When two people love each other, as you do, their tongues say the most pleasant and loving things. So shouldn’t tongue be the most pleasant dish in the world?”
The woman smiled. “That is true,” she said. “You are not only a fine cook, you are a wise man.” The cook bowed, and the woman and her guest enjoyed the delicious meal. Later, however, they got into a bitter argument and parted angrily.
The next morning the woman approached the cook again. “Tonight,” she said, “I would like you to serve the most unpleasant dish you can create.”
That night, when the couple sat down to eat dinner, the cook served them many delicious appetizers. Then he announced, “Tonight’s main course is tongue of pig!”
“What!” the woman screamed. “Yesterday I told you I wanted the most pleasant dish in the world, and you served tongue of pig. This morning I said I wanted the most unpleasant dish in the world, and again you serve tongue of pig.”
The cook bowed respectfully. “When two people argue and fight, their tongues say the most unpleasant and hateful things. So is not tongue the most unpleasant dish in the world?”
This folktale from Vietnam illustrates what James wrote in the Bible: “People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!” (James 3:7-10).
Your tongue has amazing power for good or evil. In fact, a lot of wrong choices begin with the tongue. But “those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way” (James 3:2). If we can learn to talk a little less and listen a little more, we will probably find it a little easier to stay out of trouble.
REFLECT: Can you think of any wrong choices you’ve made because you didn’t control your tongue? How can you get better at controlling your tongue?
PRAY: “God, please help me control my tongue today when_________.”