Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tongue Fire

"No human being can tame the tongue... With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God." - James

I'm finding that sorting myself out in a new office is an interesting happening. While I'm fumbling around with Coffee machines (a priority), trying to hide the fact that I carry my lunch in a really dorkey grocery bag and attempting to bathe more often, there's other more dangerous monsters lurking.

Here's a few: the monster of being in control of my environment; the monster of being liked, respected or even reveered; the monster of being anything besides "Phil"; the monster of seeking people's weaknesses; the monster of writing people off... The list goes on beyond my finite reckoning. But as I found in James this morning, probably the most viscious monster I'm facing already, is the monster of my tongue.

Already, if I'm really honest, I've had a host of positive and negative emotions floating around in my head-space just waiting to be propelled into the world and perhaps unleash "a world of unrighteousness."

So the other day there was this whole refrigerater debacle (or at least it became one in my mind). Apparently refrigeraters are a "big deal" down here, perhaps because it's about 80 degrees in the dead of winter (the "cool people" are always huddling around them). But rather than taking it to God and asking him to tame my tongue, I went home and griped to Melissa. Tongue-fire was being kindled in my soul.

Then there are those personalities I don't get. And rather than accepting that everyone is created differently, I'm tempted to either make them like me, control them and finally if all else fails dismiss them as losers or jerks. It's ugly I know, but I'm a real sinner. And the sad thing is, these are great people I'm working with.

They're Godly people and made in the image of God. So why is my heart tempted to highlight or suspect their sin and then blab about it either to myself or someone else? I've just got to concur with James on this one, that it is absolutely true that no human can tame the tongue...

...but God can. And the truth is he can make my tongue an instrument for peace. As James says later that there is a "harvest of righteousness that can be sown in peace by those who make peace."

So when my eyes roll back and my tongue starts flapping around trying to set the world ablaze with evil, I pray that God will bridle me. My tongue needs God every mili-second. Lord have mercy.

Hold on... "Woa, did that guy just walk by me and look the other way when I said, 'Hi.' I hate him now!" Wait...

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