BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
The Tongue is a Fire!
By Dave Frodsham, lead elder, Jubilee Church Wirral
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
According to James, the tongue is a fire which is able to impact our whole bodies and can cause great destruction.
As he puts it, “it is a world of unrighteousness” – but one with which we are able to bless God as well.
Fire, as we know, can be used for good when controlled for heating and cooking but out of control it can destroy a whole house.
The tongue then has great power and we should therefore be careful with the words we say and how we say them.
In James 3, which is all about taming the tongue, he starts by saying not many of you should be teachers – for as you know teachers will have to give an account of what they have taught.
So in any context of teaching, however big or small, whether we think it is significant or not we need to take it seriously; we need to be confident that what we are teaching is right, having asked God to direct us.
In all contexts of using speech, whether teaching or not, we need to careful of what we say and how we speak to people.
Paul tells the Ephesians that they need to speak the truth in love.
This is a measure of the maturity of our relationship with God and how we are following Jesus.
He says: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15)
Jesus called us to love God with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul and all our strength – but also to love our neighbour as ourself.
Therefore, withholding the truth that someone needs to know is not being truthful or loving, but telling someone the truth without showing love is unloving and doesn’t honour the truth either.
The Bible tells us that we need wisdom to help us to use our tongues to bless God and honour our fellow men and women, who are made in his image.
What it comes down to is this: We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
On the day of Pentecost, a new fire comes down which kindles new powers in the disciples and enables them to freely declare God’s mighty works in different tongues or languages.
What sort of things should our speech be filled with if we have received this wisdom from above?
It should be pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17-18).
Let’s ask God again to fill us with His Holy Spirit and wisdom so we can set a fire not for destruction but to see a harvest of righteousness wherever we go.
Dave Frodsham, Jubilee Church Wirral
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Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
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Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
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Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
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Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
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Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
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