Saturday, July 30, 2016

Inconsequential? Hardly!

Anyone who has had to do any kind of work with a copy machine understands that we are at the mercy of the copy machine.  The machine never quite lives up to the hype it is sold under and then when we are under a tight deadline, that is when it decides to have a major meltdown.  A few weeks ago, our copy machine kept jamming to the point where it was bringing the office staff to tears and we knew it was time to call the repair guy.  When he showed up to fix the machine he disassembled a few parts and finally pulled out the insolent culprit:


That's right, that teeny, piece of paper is what was bringing the entire office to a complete halt and to its knees that afternoon.  Here is another picture to bring it in to perspective on how small that offensive paper was:


Seriously!  That puny piece of paper was stuck in the paper hole punch mechanism of the machine and causing all kinds of problems.  But, when I saw that tiny paper and the large pieces of paper it was jamming and crunching, it reminded me of how small things can cause big problems.

James gives us very strong warnings of how the tongue is so small but can cause us so many problems.  James 3:5-6 (NIV) says:
" Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."
Ouch!  I actually didn't want to write this post because I was being convicted about my own tongue!  In this chapter James goes on to tell us that what comes out of our mouths shouldn't be in conflict.  We can't praise God one minute and then spew garbage the next.  We need to be living out our faith continually - including what is coming from that little inconsequential muscle, the tongue.

Just as that little paper caused a complete meltdown of our copy machine, our tongue can cause a meltdown in our spiritual walk or in our relationships.  Gossip, harsh words, whatever it may be can cause all kinds of problems.  I know God is showing me my own issue!

We need our tongues - so we don't want to ask God to silence them.  But we can ask God to help us tame our tongues.  We don't have to let it be "set on fire by hell," but rather we can have its course set by the Holy Spirit.  I know that is what I am repenting and praying over myself today.  How about you?

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