spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil
among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person,
sets the whole course of his life on fire,
and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures
of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man,
It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James finishes up his description of the tongue with fire, wild beasts, and deadly poison. My goodness, it makes me want to cut mine out. Except I don't like pain! If God's purpose in having James pen this passage is to help us to see the evil of misuse of our words, He has succeeded as far as I am concerned. But does it cause us to quit abusing it?
Food for thought:
How does one keep a forest fire from starting? Don't light a match in the forest! How does one keep a wild animal from eating him? Tame the animal or cage it!
How does one keep from ingesting poison? Keep a lid on it!
Since the fire of the tongue cannot be controlled, the match must not be lit in the forest of anger or revenge.
Since the tongue cannot be tamed, then it must be caged when it is inappropriate to speak.
And since one cannot ingest the poison of the tongue without a death of some kind (death of a friendship, death of a vision, death of another's self-image, death of joy, death of trust--you fill in the blank_________), then the lid must be kept on when necessary.
But no man can tame the tongue. So who can? Only the One who made it in the first place.
Oh, that we might depend on His ability in the midst of our inability,