Poison that spills from our lips
By Teresa LeNeave
... 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. 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. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:4-6 NIV
James, the brother of Jesus, is drawing us a mental picture depicting the tongue of man as powerful as the rudder on a ship. What the rudder is to the ship, so is the tongue to the human life.
The rudder is very small compared to the size of the ship, but even in the roughest of storms it is the primary control used to steer the ship. If James is right, and we believe he is, then the tongue is the primary control used to steer our lives.
Some people don't believe their words are that important because they don't see immediate consequences, good or bad. To explain the time lapse, go back to the rudder of a ship. I have read that the rudder does not actually turn the ship, but it initiates a drift angle in the ship which results in a hydrodynamic moment that is actually the driving force behind the turning action. The tongue, our words, initiates. It sets the course of life.
It's good to think about this: The rudder initiates a drift angle and the water force (the life-force) does the rest. So, according to James, the tongue initiates a drift angle, an initial movement that results in natural life-forces taking over from there. When we say harmful things, a life-force takes over from there. It's out of our hand but, all is not lost because good words can turn it back around.
If the way we use our tongue is going to determine the course of our life we better make it a positive turn. When talking to our children, spouse or even to ourself speak faith and confidence, not fear and doubt. If you sow bitter, critical words you will reap bitter, critical circumstances. It is an unhappy person who spews out bitter and critical words. The Bible tells us, "Whatsoever a man sows that will he also reap". Gal. 6:7 KJV
If we could just realize how important we are in the lives of others maybe we would be more careful of our own speech. Teachers, whether they are critical or encouraging, impacts a person for life. Their jobs are so important, in fact, I think they can literally shape the life of an individual. Think of your own teachers. You know the ones who cared about you and the ones who didn't. You remember the words they spoke about you and it's impacted you. Their words were rudders initiating a drift angle in your life.
Parents, no matter how angry we can get over things our children do, guard your words. I'm not saying, don't discipline, but let's all discipline with wisdom. Spewing venom, poison, from our mouth is not discipline.
Our words initiate a drift angle in the lives of our children. The words of our mouth initiates a movement that will push their life-ship in a direction toward success or toward failure. God can help us with this. He will help us encourage and not tear down. Don't you want to make it easier for them to succeed? Don't you want good things in their future? Some kids have the ability to overcome negative poison, but what if yours can't?
So remember, be very careful how you use that rudder that directs your own ship and the ship that represents your child and the ship that represents your spouse. The tongue initiates. It sets in motion a direction. Ask God for His help to use your tongue to bless and not harm.