Taming the tongue

but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
-James 3:8-9 ESV

I think this is cool how James connects our dichotomous nature to the old testament. In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. Then he created us in His image. We then turn and kill, hate, and curse others who are created in God's image. And then turn and praise God. 

Curse God's image then praise Him? We can't do that! How dangerous and evil is the tongue? And we have that weapon with us. Everyone does. That's 6.5 billion weapons all over the world. It's an uncontrollable evil. 

Be careful of the fires you start this week. They can be ones to bring others closer to God, or drive them away.


Sticks and stones

I'm honestly not much of a farmer. Or rancher. Or anything agriculturally related. So I've never milked a cow, or goat, or plowed a field, or even shucked corn (until Sunday afternoon). But I have ridden a horse and been on a boat, so when James talks about horses and boats, I get it.

If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
-James 3:3-5 ESV

What we say often directs how we are perceived. It's amazing how something as small as our tongue can do so much damage. It can easily ruin a person's day, or build someone up.

The rudder is a very important in a ship. As small as it is, it dictates where the ship will go. The entire ship and all it's parts! Our tongue is a powerful little weapon.

Last week we talked about beliefs and actions, this week it's about words. Watch what you say. Facebook and twitter can be powerful tools to show people Jesus, or a tool bent on destroying your testimony. Be careful.


Called to Teach?

This is Taylor posting a blog today about teaching since Elliot felt I am already very passionate about this particular field. 

My first day in college I had a teacher who said that it was her responsibility to teach me and if she failed at her job then she would one day answer for her disobedience to God. The subject she was teaching was speech, my all time hated subject. I dread standing up in front of people and speaking, and how funny it is that I am a certified teacher feeling called to teach for the rest of my life. 

I never understood what that teacher meant until I began to teach. When God "calls" us to fulfill a purpose and we do not fulfill it to the fullest then we are ultimately failing God. 

James writes in chapter three verse one and two he states, 

"My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body."

James is saying in the first verse that those who are called to be masters, also known as teachers, will receive greater condemnation. Those who teach are to have stronger convictions, expectations, and greater rewards as well as consequences. He is not saying God loves those who teach or are called any more than those who do not. He means that those who are called to teach have a greater responsibility, therefore have greater expectations placed on them.

In the second verse James then says that all men will mess up while being masters - teachers - and the man who does not mess up is perfect. Well we obviously know that Jesus Christ was the only man who never stumbled and he was a referred to in scripture as a teacher. So our greatest example and role model teacher is Jesus Christ. We may have the responsibility and calling to teach, but that does not mean we will not stumble. It is actually expected of us, but it is what you do after you stumble. Do you restore yourself through God's Word and lean on the Lord for reconciliation? Or do you take matters into your own hands? Hopefully you do the first. 

Teaching, in any way, shape, or form is an honor. When God calls us to teach His Word think of it as a double honor. Not everyone is called to teach and be masters. When God has us teach then we are given a beautiful gift and a great responsibility. We are held to high expectations and we are to live in such a way or our consequences become far greater than others. 

Be encouraged by God's love for us and His will for your life. Make Him proud by striving to work hard, teach in love, and uphold the morals and values the Bible clearly states.