Cannot be Tamed

James 3:7-12 

7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Answer me!

Do you wish to share your unforgettable childhood experience with your mother?

Once upon a time, the tranquility of the night was disturbed. A mother was very upset that her daughter came home very late in the evening. The angry mother scolded her daughter verbally. “Why are you late? I told you to come home early after school! Where did you go? What did you do? Did you do things I told you not to do? Why did you not call me? Why are you silent? Why? Why? Answer me! Speak! Answer me!”

“Mother, I don’t have cellphone! I have to work part time to earn money,” the terrified daughter explained. The angry mother shouted, “Now! You’ve got the nerve to speak, huh! Why? Am I inconsiderate to you? I worked very hard to make ends meet, to pay bills, to pay your tuition fee, and you want me to buy you cellphone? That’ luxury!”

The statements of the angry mother were just fictional, but the storyline is very similar to experiences of young people who were scolded and not given a chance to explain their side. Parents angrily voice out frustrations to children. Upset employers express disappointment to employees. Those incidents are practical proof that a tongue cannot be tamed, especially when the person is angry or frustrated.

Take note: Not everything that a person says should be taken seriously. Angry voice or not, we need godly wisdom to discern things beneficial to our spiritual growth.

When his disciples asked about end times, the Lord Jesus Christ warned them. It’s a warning for us also. In Matthew 24:4-5, 4Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.

Truly, if you’re able, you can easily search online. It’s real. Beware! Be prayerful that you won’t be enticed or lured. Pray for godly wisdom and understanding. There are several charismatic speakers who claimed to be the Messiah. Sweet words can mislead the naïve and poison the mind of insensible oblivious individuals to follow them.

1.  Poison

7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

We can use our tongue effectively as instrument to communicate and inform others about ideas we have in our mind. With verbal explanation, we can warn others what we like or don’t like; we can limit misunderstanding in communication if we can say in simple words what we want or do not want. Careful statement can be productive.

Sometimes, what comes out of our mouth is not very pleasant. We need the Lord to help us use our tongue eloquently to bless others and not damage our reputation.

With our tongue, we can testify about the transformation that Christ has done in our life. As believers of Christ, changes or transformations from old lifestyle to new life in Jesus Christ are our practical proof that we sincerely trusted him as Lord and Savior.

Have you experienced transformation of personality ever since you accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and had your attitude, your choice of words been changed?

If you say, “Yes!” the next probable question is: “Have you ever told and shared with others, friends, relatives, acquaintances what Christ has done in your life yet?”

If you say, “Yes!” it’s very great! If you say, “Not yet!” what makes you hesitate?


Hesitation to obey the Lord’s instruction is practical proof of reliance to the self.

To obey God is a regenerating work of his grace through the Holy Spirit in our life. The Scripture has numerous example of hesitation to obey God, even his chosen people. Moses was the greatest leader of Israel. Before Moses became the greatest leader of Israel, the Lord instructed him to return to Egypt. God told him to lead the Israelites out of the Egyptian slavery, but he hesitated. He had reasons why he cannot obey the Lord.

Moses explained his inadequacy why he cannot obey the Lord in Exodus 4:10-12: 10Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” 11The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Moses personally knew that he was not very articulate in his speech. He may have remembered that when he tried to help the Israelites, they did not listen to him. But still the Lord chose him to lead the Israelites out of the Egyptian slavery. Why?

God knows that Moses was not competent; he knows that Moses needed help. He chose him to free the Israelites to show his grace and power and he promised to help him speak; he promised to teach him words to say that may convince the Israelites.

Similarly, we are instructed to witness for Christ and tell others what he has done in our life. We may have valid alibis of not obeying the Lord. He knows our inadequacy and incompetence, but he wants us to help potential believers to be freed from the slavery of sins just as he had freed us from the slavery of sin when we trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Lord can enable us to reach out and tell about the gospel of Christ to individuals he prepared to believe. Do you still hesitate to obey the Lord?

Are you still hesitant to lead possible believers to trust in Jesus Christ? Moses was hesitant, but eventually, he obeyed and  became the greatest leader of Israel.

The great things that the Lord had done in the life of Moses serve as practical illustrations that God had already prepared great things as reward to obedient believers. Thus, if we accept our inadequacy and incompetence and be prayerful, the Lord enables us to explain his gospel so that potential believers will understand it and believe God.

Pray for increase of faith; trust that God is conscientiously gracious. He provides right words that may convince our listeners as he already prepared potential believers to listen attentively to our testimony. He will also sustain and provide essential things we need so that we can follow his instruction with cheerfulness of heart.

Listen attentively: Moses hesitated because he never imagined that the Israelites will ever listen to him. Yet after he willingly obeyed the instruction of the Lord to lead the Israelites out of the Egyptian slavery, he personally experienced great miracles that the Lord had done through him. He became the greatest leader of Israel eventually.

Can you strongly accept that the Lord’s instruction to witness for Christ includes blessings that we can never dream of or imagine? Pray to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God until you sense no hesitation and have cheerful willingness to obey him.

Listen: Enthusiastic obedience to the Lord produces gratitude and praise of heart.

2. Praise

9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 

Cursing comes very natural to many people. Praising the Lord is transformational work of his grace. Probably, in your old lifestyle every time you speak, you did not mind at all if you curse or not. Let’s ask ourselves these basic questions of transformation:

Do we have faith in Christ? Do we believe that the Lord had taken all our sins and crucified them with Christ? Do we believe that our old self was buried with Christ and have been resurrected to new life in Christ? Have we been born again to new life in Christ?

If so then, praise God for the transformation that he has done in our life. Now, there should be practical manifestations of our transformation to new life.

Do you still curse? Do you hate it when you unknowingly swear or use pr ofanity?

If you desire to stop and not use curse words completely, pray that the Lord show his mighty power and remove cursing, profanity and bad words from your mouth, heart and mind completely. Each time you unmindfully use curse words, keep praying sincerely; pray also that thankfulness and praise will naturally come out of your mouth, mind and heart.

Someone advised that if you want to learn praising God, read the Book of Psalms.

If you were unpopular, irrelevant, simple ordinary person and then your life has been changed and have gotten a lifestyle you never dreamed of or imagined, will you not thank and praise God and acknowledge him as the source of all good things that you’ve gotten?

King David

Before David became king of Israel, he was just an ordinary shepherd boy; he was irrelevant to his brothers, but he just trust and praise God anyway. Then at perfect time, an opportunity to test his faith came when he faced the giant Goliath; his life had been transformed after that. King David recorded he personal experience in Psalm 40:1-5: 1I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. 4Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. 5Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

Unfulfilled expectation may cause disappointment, failure of supposition may spark discouragement, a number of forgotten dreams and promises in life may provoke frustration, and undesirable things may happen anywhere. What else can worsen a day?

Even before he became king of Israel, David chose to practice his faith in the Lord; he patiently waited for God’s perfect timing. Waiting patiently for God’s perfect timing was practical manifestation that the God’s grace was at work through the Holy Spirit in the life of King David. Praising God evoked his confidence to wait upon the Lord.

The Holy Spirit inspires praise of God. Luke 10:21 says, 21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.

Praise is practical exhibit of gladness that originated from the Holy Spirit of God.

As children God, we can experience much gladness of heart. How? We follow the commands of God when empowered by his Holy Spirit and blessings are added. And if we obey godly instructions with enthusiasm, it results to gratitude and praise of him.

Ephesians 4:22-25 says, 22With regard to your former way of life, put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully.

Again! If we claim to have faith in Jesus Christ, we make sure that we experience practical transformation. We must completely abandon our former way of life; we must give up profanity. Cursing and swearing can pollute, corrupt and poison our mindset.

We pray that the Holy Spirit of Christ produces cheerful attitude of obeying him.

3.  Produce

11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 

12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

All Christians will certainly go through the challenging process of transformation. We have to be very sensible when the Holy Spirit reveals to us any undesirable worldly lifestyle. Our former way of life is gratifying to the flesh, but it corrupts and poisons our mindset. It may still pressure us to participate, but we should not gratify the old self.

Political Ads

Here is a timely test if we are still controlled by our former way of life or no more:

If you have social media account, it could be flooded with political ads regularly. Different political groups are very active promoting their favored candidates. There are opposing groups that may try to expose weaknesses of their rival political groups. And still, there are advertisements of false narratives to discourage undecided voters.

How did you respond? Did you share, forward advertisements for your preferred candidate? Did you add your comment in support to your political leaning? How did you react when you read false narratives against your favorite candidate? Were you angry?

Many Christians openly explained or clarified their political stance. They argued or tried to convince others to follow their personal convictions. Spending much time in social media can pollute a naïve and foolish mindset. Be prayerful and sensible. Pray that your testimony as believer won’t be tarnished and destroyed while you may encourage others to decide prayerfully when they elect leaders.

How can we avoid or escape from worldly influence? Apostle Paul advised us in Galatians 5:16-17, 16Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Here’s a challenge: If you have been active promoting your preferred political leaning, pray that the Lord will give you similar or more activeness in promoting his mission purpose in your life. If you are not interested in politics, if you don’t care at all who may win the election, pray that God will give godly wisdom to whoever may win.

It says in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, 1That petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Pray for godly wisdom for authorities to promote peace, prosperity and praise of God!

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