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October 3, 2022 - James 3

Taming the tongue. Oh my, how many times over the years have I spoken only to worry that I had misspoken or spoken badly. James is correct, “the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things” (3:5) and it can do much good but, also, much harm. It’s almost as if James sees the tongue as representative of the whole person; we can almost hear him explain, “If you want to know who a person is, listen to his language, how he speaks, and about what he speaks.”

Many of us talk too much (In another place, James encourages us to listen more and talk less: “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak” (1:19). And when we speak it is good that we speak “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever” (4:11).

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

fill me with life anew,

that I may love the way you love,

and do what you would do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

until my heart is pure,

until my will is one with yours,

to do and to endure. -- Edwin Hatch (1878)

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