“Do you know what the most dangerous part of the body is?” questioned my 9-year old last night. “The eye? The heart?” I responded. Logan said, “The tongue.” I asked, “Are you reading in James, chapter 3?” Surprised that I knew where his Bible was turned to, Logan showed me verse 6 which says “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire by hell.”
You see, Logan had no idea that the first few verses of James 3 were the exact same verses I had just been studying with my small women’s group at church Sunday night. It was like God was saying to me through Logan, “Don’t forget My word. Put it into practice.” I admit, that in my frustration and impatience, I tend to really let my kids know how I feel about what they have done. But what have I done with my tongue?
I am a very visual person, and as I read through verse 6, I can’t help but picture a tongue lashing out of the mouth on fire. When our mouths are open, the oxygen fans the flame and makes the fire hotter and stronger. However, if we simply shut our mouths and cut off that oxygen supply and douse our tongues in saliva (which acts as the water), the flame is put out.
In the heat of the moment of frustration, we must learn to cool down. James 1:19 says we must be “slow to speak and slow to become angry.” One friend of mine repeats the fruit of the spirit before doing or saying anything. Maybe leaving the room (or the house!) or sending your child to another room is a good option. As mothers, we must remember that harsh and unnecessary words are not productive. Correction (pointing out the sin), forgiveness, and restoration are what is important!
I love how God uses my children to work on me!