James 3 – the tongue



…look at the ships also; though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.  James 3:4


Funny story.  What my daughter and youth group friends would refer to as “a Jesus moment”.


I got hung up at James 3 in my reading, could not find a way to blog about it to save my life.  There are so many analogies I could dwell on, which one do I pick?  Horses and bits, ships and rudders, fire, poison, fresh and bitter water from the same spring, fig trees and grapevines…which one do I choose?  I was stuck.  Yet, I still continued on in my daily reading, determined not to continue blogging until I found something from Chapter 3.


Today, I looked back again on the part where I got hung up, and began re-reading it to see if anything stood out to me.  At the same time, our internet connection went out, so my husband turned on the television.  Parallel to the open Bible on my lap, was a story of ships on the open sea.  The narrator was telling of the perils of the winds and the waves, and as I read the above verse, I heard the narrator say “even the slightest deviation off course, even for a few seconds could be catastrophic to the two ships sailing side by side”.  She pointed out the danger of colliding with the supply ship that was sailing parallel if a correction was not made, and that to correct the deviation would take much more effort on the part of the pilot directing the vessel, than it would to have taken if he kept it on course in the first place.


How true this is for us in this fallen world!  What a small little rudder this tongue of ours is to navigating ourselves through the waters of our lives alongside one another.  One little comment, exaggeration or untruth can turn the course of our bodies and our wills, causing collision with another, or others.  And correcting it takes so much more effort than just controlling it in the first place would have.  We can’t take back words that were spoken.  We need to be obedient to the Pilot’s hand on our lives, allowing Him to control our tongues, as He navigates us through the storms of life alongside one another.

One comment on “James 3 – the tongue

  1. Right now I am teaching bible study on this very book in the Bible, next week we will be studying chapter three…

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