No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

James 3:8

We have all been victims of that poison, haven’t we? Many of us can still remember evil words spoken to us years ago; emotional, psychological, and relational scars may still remain. Sadly, many of us can also recall poisonous words that we have uttered unthinkingly, spoken in anger, or spoken in retaliation to that which was uttered to us.

Curbing our tongue is a choice we make. But the fact that no person can tame the tongue means that only the Holy Spirit can free us from sinful talk, so we must invite Him to do exactly that. We must acknowledge both our limitations and the fact that we need His help. Otherwise, we will continue to start forest fires with our words.

James was not overstating the damage we do with our tongue. Bridling such a strong force calls for the power of the Holy Spirit. So, invite Him – right now – to teach you to think before you speak, to call on Him when self-control seems out of reach, and to enable you to forgive those who, like you, struggle to subdue and submit the poisonous tongue. Surrender your words to the Holy Spirit and let Him transform them into instruments of grace.