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“Watch Your Tongue!”

Key Verse

“Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body” (James 3:3).

TEXT — James 3:1-12


Kondraty Ryleyev was sentenced to death by hanging for his part in an unsuccessful uprising against the Russian Czar, Nicholas I in December 1825. But the rope broke, and Ryleyev, bruised and battered, fell to the ground, got up, and said, “In Russia they do not know how to do anything properly, not even how to make a rope.” An accident of this sort usually resulted in a pardon, so a messenger was sent to the Czar to know his pleasure. Nicholas asked, “What did he say?” “Sire, he said that in Russia they do not even know how to make a rope properly.” “Well, let the contrary be proved,” said the Czar. Kondraty’s tongue denied him of providential pardon.

The tongue has brought more calamities to man than any other. This is why Apostle James counsels believers in the text today on the need to have proper control over the use of the tongue. He teaches that the tongue shows the true state of the heart. Unregenerate hearts cannot use the tongue aright, just as it is odd for the transformed heart to spill out unwholesome words with the tongue.

The devastating impact of an untamed tongue is better imagined than experienced. Many lives have been lost, marriages destroyed, friendships damaged, reputations ruined, wars fought, fights aroused, injuries inflicted, bodies maimed, promotions denied, etc., all due to wrong use of the tongue.

This is why the tongue will be one of the yardsticks for future judgment on the last day. No one can tame the tongue without supernatural grace and heart transformation. Our prayer daily should be like that of the psalmist, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

Thought for the day

Your tongue carries the power of life and death. Use it wisely!

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Pastor W.F. Kumuyi
About Author - Pastor W.F. Kumuyi

Listed among “500 most powerful people on the planet” by the Foreign Policy magazine in 2013, Pastor (Dr.) William F. Kumuyi is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry (DCLM) headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. DCLM started in 1973 as a 15-member Bible study group right in Kumuyi’s apartment at University of Lagos where he was a lecturer. His revolutionary Bible teaching on personal holiness and commitment to evangelism soon gained so much traction and resulted in a widespread revival.


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