No, We Do Not Have the Right To Say Whatever We Wish

There seems to be a movement of people speaking loudly who feel they can say (or write, same thing) anything that comes to mind. Or, even bypasses the mind.

There are times I need to remember the wisdom of the Apostle James, brother of Jesus.

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. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

James 3

How easily our words belie the status of our hearts. How easily we use them to hurt others. We think we are so smart, but an untamed tongue (or typing thumbs) openly reveals to all how not smart we are.

People used to think I was smart when I was young. In reality, I was just quiet. I didn’t open my mouth and reveal my ignorance. Many of us today (including me) need to practice that same discipline.

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