Disciplines is available in a variety of formats: print, digital, and print/digital combo packages. A digital subscription includes access to author bios, the ability to comment, and audio lectio.Sign Up Today
In today’s passage, James uses strong words to describe the tongue. He says it’s a match that can start a wildfire—a fire that originates in hell. He warns that our “tongue,” or speech, is the one animal that can never be tamed.
Is James right? Are we unable to control...
Lord, heal our hearts so we can control our speech. Amen.
Through the scriptures and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God shows the paths of righteousness and warns against the ways of destruction. The writer of Proverbs describes this as the voice of Wisdom crying out, yet some refuse to listen—to their peril. The psalmist rejoices in the law of the Lord, for God’s decrees teach us how to live well. Living a godly life includes paying attention to our speech. How can we, James asks, praise God with our lips and then curse others with those same lips? Peter is tripped up by his words in Mark. He declares Jesus to be the Messiah, yet in the next scene he recklessly rebukes Jesus for speaking of his death. Our words matter, and God desires purity and consistency.
• Read Proverbs 1:20-33. How clearly can you hear Wisdom’s call? What keeps you from answering?
• Read Psalm 19. How do your words and your heart’s meditations reflect your faith? Do you think God finds them acceptable?
• Read James 3:1-12. Consider your words. Do they honor the image of God in those to whom you speak?
• Read Mark 8:27-38. When has God called you to be silent? Were you better able to hear an unexpected call from God?
Respond by posting a prayer.
"When I became a parent, I struggled to find God within the chaotic world where I now lived. I was used to contemplative prayer, to silence and service and listening for God’s still, small voice in quiet, hidden spaces. Suddenly none of my life felt quiet or hidden – it was all loud, messy, and exposed." Discover more.