1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We 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. 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or 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. 5 Likewise 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. 6 The 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. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
- If I were to record everything I said last week to have it played back during church, what would I want to erase from the recording?
- Meditate on 3:9-10. Have I been doing more praising or cursing? What are ways that I can praise and encourage others more?
- Is there a family member, a friend or colleague, to whom I may say some encouraging words? During this week, pray that God will help me to speak words of kindness and grace, and pray for one particular person with whom you find it difficult to speak with love. As we pray for others, even ones whom we feel like we can’t love, God transforms our hearts to love them like He does.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Parents, make random recordings of children (and parents) talking, yelling, arguing, laughing. Then play the recording for this Family Time. Which part do you want to delete? Which part you would like to play it again? Read 3:9-10 again. How can you say more nice things to others? Record the suggestions in your Family Devotional Journal.