Personal Devotions: Taming the (Virtual) Tongue…

Continuing my study in James, we’re in chapter 3 today:

1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

“If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man….   Well, that disqualifies me then – in fact, who isn’t sometimes at fault in what we say?  If you can keep your tongue in check you will be able to keep your whole body in check. Interesting, such as small thing having such a big impact.  Check the remainder of this passage:

3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or 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. 5Likewise 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. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

The tongue is like a rudder in a ship, or like a horse’s bridle.  Such a small instrument to control the direction of something much larger than itself.

I started thinking about this not only from the usual stand of my natural tongue…but what about my virtual one? I blog about my life, about God’s goodness … but seriously considered stopping when I was challenged by someone close to me that I was sharing too much personal information.  Now I know I’ve had something like this debated on my blog before, but it really made me feel like I was being censored. And I didn’t like that.

But beyond that.  How easy is it to write under ‘relative’ anonymity on the blogosphere?  How easy is it to drop any and all comments in people’s spaces – be it blogs, chats, IM sessions, whatever – and not think about it as carefully as you would if you were speaking to people in person?

In my study of James I was thinking about how I speak to my friend in chat.  I really believe God wants me to work on it.  And it’s not easy, you know?  But … there it is.  The tongue is a raging fire.  And if it directs something much larger than itself, I have to be careful how I use it.  And I can’t hide behind an avatar or an internet persona.  I have to be real, genuine, authentic…. on AND offline.

Here’s a challenge. Be careful how you type today.

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5 Responses

  1. So true. Words can give life, but they can also totally destroy.
    Perhaps best never say/type what we wouldn’t want others to say/type to us 🙂 I’m being very careful :-)))))
    Hugs, Jonie

    • The Golden Rule of Internet Chat …. “Type unto others what you would have someone type unto you….” LOL

      All jokes aside, very good point. Love u!

  2. Hahaha …”type unto others..” – now I’m really going to remember that!
    Thanks for the giggle! Bless you!

    • Bless you too, honey 🙂 Glad I made u giggle 🙂

  3. Good thoughts. 🙂 And considering my last comment, a tad bit humorous as well.

    If you would like my advice, it would be … “Listen to the voice of your Shepherd. No one else is responsible to hear His voice for you, and no one else will be judged for what you were responsible to hear. If you hear Him speak through someone else, that is something different, since you are still, in point of fact, listening to Him, and not to them.

    But tru’nuf thoughts on James. 🙂

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