Week 22
Day 151
Read James 3:3-5, Proverbs 18:21

James 3:3-5 

“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body…”

Proverbs 18:21

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Your life has a direction, it is going somewhere. If you turn and look backwards at where you have been, then pause to consider where you are right now, you can see movement – a sometimes meandering path that brought you here and stretches into the future. If you can look forward, then really pause to think, you can probably even discern where your life is heading right now (unless something changes). In any case, understand, your life has direction.

So what is steering you as you move? What is guiding you down the path? We could all give lots of different answers to that question – hopefully dependence on God is at the top of the list – but today’s verse from James 3 gives some surprising insight. James asserts that one of the things that is steering you as you move through life is your words. The words you speak give direction.

If that seems confusing, consider for a moment the power your words have to steer your life. A couple that communicates through angry criticisms is headed down a dangerous path in marriage. An employee who fills each workday with complaints about their job finds work to be heavy and miserable. A church member who only complains about what is “broken” at church finds worship difficult. In each instance, the path being traveled is directed by words.

That explains, again, why Proverbs 18 says we have “the power of life and death” in our words. It’s because our words direct us, they steer us. They change our perceptions, which direct the very paths we walk. Our lives are moving, and our tongues are like the rudder steering the direction.

What is one specific place in your life where your words steer your direction?

What must you do to use your words in a more responsible way?

Memory Verses
Primary Verse:

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Luke 6:45
Secondary Verse:

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21
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