White water rafting can be successful or disastrous based solely upon the person steering the raft in the back. With a tiny paddle, the guide can maneuver a boat full of rafters through some rough waters. One small mistake and the raft can flip, and everyone will end up in the water. The same goes for our mouth. One slip of the tongue and our whole world can be turned upside down.
Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
Israel has a history of battling its tongue. In Exodus 14, Moses tells them to “remain silent” as Pharaoh is approaching. That is, in essence, him telling them to stop complaining. The tongue is small in its stature, but it is mighty in its power. Just as the rudder steers a mighty ocean liner, so too does our tongue steer our lives. It would behoove us to get it under control and not to use it for boasting about ourselves.
Boasting is an area where every Christian struggles. We have to admit we like to talk about ourselves. It gets worse when we feel the need to tell anyone within earshot about what is going on in our lives. It will turn people off and damage our reputation. Instead, we need to be slow to speak and let our actions and the praises of others do our talking for us.
One Slip of the Tongue
Determine to use your tongue to build others up. A quick word of encouragement or compliment can make someone’s day. The right words can also put to rest an argument. We can’t be flippant about what we say and let the first thing come out of our mouth. Never underestimate the power of your tongue.