I recently celebrated an anniversary with my wife by taking her on a cruise. I thought that our boat was big, until I saw a few others that were docked in the same location.
It turned out that our boat was the smallest. It was dwarfed by a boat called The Oasis of the Seas. Able to hold 6,000 passengers, this floating city was really a sight to behold.
As big as cruise ships are, they can be controlled by things that are small relative to their size. For instance, the anchor. While a cruise ship anchor is huge by anchor standards, it’s a small piece of metal compared to the rest of the ship.
Also the rudder, and any other rudder on vessels. Small, yet very crucial to the operation of the ship.
James 3 explains how our tongue is similar. It is very small, yet gets us in more trouble than we would care to admit. The Bible explains that if we could control this part of our body, then we would be able to control our whole being.
It warns us that water fountains cannot, at the same time, flow with both pure and tainted water. The picture is that our tongue should not have both blessings and cursing proceeding out of it.
Our speech will control the direction of our life, and the sparks that can fly off our tongue can ignite a wildfire of sorrow.
So what does a match, a rudder, and a horse’s bit have in common, according to James?
They are little, but are of a huge consequence in how we use them.
The tongue is an untamable wild animal, but with the help of God we can help control the direction it takes us.
Jerry Boyce is the youth pastor at Bible Baptist Church in Fort Mill.