A WORD IN PASSING - January 2023


         Many are the traditions associated with the new year, and one still very much in vogue is the tradition of making new year

  resolutions. I wonder if you've made any? Whether or not you have, I believe there is one particular aspect of our day to day 

  lives that we could all pay a lot more attention to. And that is the control of our tongue. The writers of Scripture were well aware

  of its dangers. Even in the first decades of the early Church followers of Jesus were having to be warned of the need to control

  their tongues,


                            ‘... a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts, ... a fire, ... a restless evil, full of deadly poison’ James 3: 5,8


    We'll all be aware of the need for it to be tamed, for ‘A sharp tongue can be a deadly weapon,’  and ‘If your foot slips, you can 

  recover your balance – if your tongue slips, you cannot recall your words.’ We’ve all experienced that, both as offenders and

  as the offended.


          As James pleads with his readers so let’s hear that same Spirit plead with us,   ‘My brothers/sisters this should not be.’ v.10     

  How can we, as Christians, as those who say we follow the Lord Jesus, allow our tongue to be an instrument of negativity, spite

  or gossip, disparaging others, shaming ourself, when they like us are made in the image of God! When they like us are loved by a

  God who sent His Son to save us!


    Let us control our tongues and use them wisely and well, seeking this New Year more than ever to employ our tongues

   wherever and whenever we are able in the Lord’s service; in prayer, speaking, ‘... to one another with psalms, hymns and

   spiritual songs’ Ephesians 5:19exercising a gift of encouragement, a word of wisdom, and perhaps at times even a loving word

   of censure.


    And, of course,


              ‘Always being prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have ...

             with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience,’ 1 Peter 3:15-16


  People will not ask about that 'hope' if your life is seen to be no different from anyone else. And people will not ask if they know 

  you to be a person as likely to ‘curse’ as to ‘praise’ (James 3:10), to slander as to extol. So, if Christ does live in you, if you have

  submitted your life to Him as Lord, be sure you don’t live as if your tongue is exempt.

                                                                                                                                                     Graham Pulham