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Dr. Henry I Hargrow Jr.

Chaplains Corner

James 3:3-6

Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.


The Power of the Tongue

The truest thing about me is always what God says about me…not what I think or feel and not what others say, think or do. We can become so paralyzed by lies and false beliefs that we miss the sweet plan of the Lord. Let your faith speak and then ask God to help you with any unbelief.


What we say matters. Words are the currency of communication. Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this power constructively, building up others, or destructively tearing them down. We use words to express what we think and how we feel. We use words to ask questions, give directions, and explain things. We use words to encourage people and challenge people. It only takes a few words to hurt someone.


Life and death are harnessed in the power of our tongue. Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat of its fruit.” The tongue is the most powerful part of your body. It can set the world on fire or breathe life into a weary soul.


The Word tells us that our words can be like a scorching fire, separating close friends, stirring up anger, and providing the folly of fools. In contrast, the Word also says that our tongue can speak words that bring life.

Since the enemy lie to us, we need to decide to speak power and truth back to him! We need to take actions steps to turn the tide of negative words and thoughts. We need power-filled WORDS TO LIVE BY. And then we need to speak them over and over until they reach our hearts and our thoughts.


God gave you the keys. The authority is in YOUR hands. James 3 tells us that we are setting the course of our lives with our words, but most people have no clue how this works. They’re trying to get to one place and end up somewhere else and they wonder why. It’s like setting out for Chicago and end up in New Orleans. Like bits which control horses or rudders which control ships, or sparks which start a forest-leveling fire, our tiny tongues—through the words we say with them—can do huge things, many of them greatly destructive. 


James describes the tongue itself as a fire, meaning it can burn whatever we touch with our words. He describes the tongue as "a world of unrighteousness." In our natural, sinful state, our words don't just occasionally go bad. They come from a place that is completely bad in every way. The tongue isn't the one bad apple in the bag. It is the member which corrupts all of the other parts of our bodies. An uncontrolled tongue is responsible for setting the course of our lives on fire, for burning down everything along the way. 

But our tongues don't burn with their own fire. That fire of reckless destruction didn't originate with us. Our tongues, James writes, are themselves set on fire by hell.


Our tongues—the words we say with them in our lack of self-control—are powerfully evil and destructive. It's not a small problem. It's rooted in the fundamental spiritual problems all people have: pride and lack of self-control. Our tongues reveals our true nature. As fallen people, our nature is sinful and destructive. We must change. We have to do better. How do we change? Thank you for asking “by the renewing of the minds”.


What if we made a commitment today to quit the negative self-talk. Just like any toxic bad habit, you can decide to stop this behavior. I’m not saying it’s easy. It may take time, perseverance, attention, and strength to quit. For many of us that negative talk is so deeply ingrained, it is almost second nature.


Do you really know what you are doing when you are constantly speaking negative words over yourself? Every time you think a bad thought interrupt it with what God says. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”


The goal is to become aware of our behavior and quit. Think about what you think about. 

When we take control of our thoughts and our words, we take back our life!


If our thoughts, self-talk, or words don’t align with God’s truth, we need to identify them. Take your thoughts and words captive to His truths!


Speak over yourself. Refuse to speak anything other than the Word of God about your life or situation. Take authority over your life with scriptures and the power of your own spoken words of affirmation. 

Satan’s scheme is to get us to underestimate the power of our words. Since his nature is to destroy, he works constantly to get your words flowing in a negative direction. Don’t let him succeed! He knows your words aren’t meaningless or powerless. Your words hold power. You have the power to influence and change the lives of everyone you share your world with…your family, your friends, your neighbors and the stranger passing by. It is your choice to use words that inspire and build or destroy and tear down. Remember, once said, your words cannot be retracted.


We have our daily Spiritual Fellowship Series each morning at 8:14. Join us as we start each day on postive blessed note. Also here is a copy of the Bible for those that need one virtually.

Spiritual Fellowship Series

Mountain Ridge
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