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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

Destructive Fire in the Untamed Tongue

Today’s Reading:

James 3:1-12 (8)

"But no one can tame the human tongue; it is a restless evil [undisciplined, unstable], full of deadly poison." (v.8 AMPV)

Teaching in the ancient Jewish culture and in our world today is highly valued and respected. As many Jewish Christians desired to become teachers, Apostle James warned, that although it is good to aspire to become a Christian teacher; teachers have more responsibilities and are of greater influence over those they teach. Because their words, example of living and teaching affects other spiritual lives. And God will hold teachers more accountable, in condemnation, if they teach wrongly or incorrectly (vv. 2-3; Lk. 20:47; Matt. 23:1-38).

Our spoken or unspoken words are both important. Being able to speak proper words at the right time, amounts to being able to control our desire to say what should not be said, because the tongue is so difficult to tame and control. But if we are able to control our tongue perfectly well, we have gained control of other areas of our lives. Examples of untamed, unbridled, uncontrolled tongue or speech is talking excessively without control, gossiping, pulling others down, complaining too much, exaggerating, false teaching, lying and flattering.

In our world today, we have learned to tame all kinds of wild animals, reptiles, birds and sea creatures, but we have problem, trouble in taming the tongue and putting it under control.

Like the world in its fallen state, the untamed tongue can be terribly damaging, it is evil among its members. The tongue also like a raging fire, gets the source of its wickedness from hell itself.

In a family, society, community, church, country or in the world at large, Satan uses the tongue to divide us and pitch us against each other. Idle and hateful words spread destructively easily than the truth and the consequences can be terrible. This is why we must be very careful and not be careless in our speech or action because even where we are able apologise, the damage would have been done and the scare remains indelible. A few words spoken in anger or an irrational decision hastily taken in rage is able to destroy a relationship built over the years or ages.

Let us remember that before we speak or take action that the consequences cannot be retracted or reversed, we should think, pray and ask ourselves questions.

On our own, we cannot tame or fight the tongue's fire, but the Holy Spirit can daily empower us to monitor and control our speech and actions so that in challenging situations, the overwhelming love of Jesus will overflow in us and will quench any fire that may erupt. The Holy Spirit purifies our hearts and gives us self-controlled spirit over our speech and lives (vv.8-12). The Holy Spirit is able to heal wounds, overcome our ego and calm our spirit. Our fluctuating speeches - good one moment and bad the next - portray our true identity and the tongue gives us a picture of our basic human nature. We are created in the image of God, to share his nature of love but we have fallen into sin. But God has not left us helpless, he is daily working to transform our lives from within. In order to be able to rule and control our tongue, we should surrender all to Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to rule in our hearts and lives.

Olufunmilayo Titilola Adekusibe


1. Father fill me to overflow with your love, in Jesus name.

2. Father create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit within me to guard and control my tongue, in Jesus name.

3. Anything in me, inherited or acquired, designed to send me to hell fire through my speech and actions, come out of me and die, in Jesus name

4. Father uproot everything you have not planted in your church and revive your Pentecostal fire and power in the Jesus name.

5. Father thank you for sustaining Nigeria with your power and fire. Give our leaders fresh vision, inspiration, knowledge and fear of you, and direction to move the nation to her next level. Let there be peace and harmony of purpose, in Jesus name. Amen.

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