Chapter 3 of James speaks directly to those who aspire to teach. Mothers are teachers whether they aspire to be or not! Our children look to us for direction, protection and instruction in what is right and wrong in life. They read our actions, words, and attitudes…continually. They listen to our hearts and they read our spirits!
“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 it to go.
Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is a small part of the body but makes great spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue!” James 3: 3-7
SeaWorld can control Shamu, a massive creature,
but we struggle to control our own diminutive tongue!!
Scripture says “the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison!”
With the tongue we praise God, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. This should not be!
Do you know what I am talking about?
Do you know what a gossip is?
How about a whisperer or slanderer?
Can you define a busybody…?
I Peter 4:15 talks about a busybody who digs up evil reports and then spreads them through gossip, slander or whispering.
“Let none of you suffer as a murderer
or as a thief
or as an evil doer
or as a busybody in other men’s matters.”
According to this verse evil reporting is as wicked as murder or stealing!
We enjoy listening to evil reports because they exalt us! All evil reports involve false information or are a distortion of facts. They are usually given with wrong motives and cause the hearer to form inaccurate conclusions. One of the major causes of conflict among us is our wrong response to an evil report. We, then, attempt to resolve the conflict with unscriptural solutions.
The Whisperer secretly or privately passes on evil reports to others.
“All my enemies whisper together against me. They imagine the worst for me…” Psa. 41:7
Among Christians, a common example of a whisperer is in the area of prayer requests.
If the request comes with the disclaimer, “Please don’t share this with anyone, but… we need to pray about this….!”
Our response should be, “Have you asked this person if you can share this request with me? Let’s go pray with this person together.”
In Panama at our missionary school, we sang a song called Gossip. It went like this:
“Gossip is sharing pertinent information with someone with anyone who’s not involved with the problem or with the solution.” The Gossiper loves to magnify and sensationalize rumors and partial information and pass it on quickly.
Know anybody like this?
The Slanderer seeks to destroy another’s credibility or reputation with damaging facts, distortions of facts and evil suspicions. In Numbers 14:36 the consequence for evil reporting exposes what God thinks about evil reports!
“So the men Moses sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it…
these men responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord”!
Ask yourself these 5 questions the next time someone approaches you with information regarding a third party:
- What is your reason for telling me this?
- Where did you get your information?
- Have you spoken to those directly involved?
- Have you personally checked out all the facts?
- Can I quote you if I check this out?
Spirituality is not measured by how well we expose another person for whatever reason, but by how effectively we scripturally seek to see that person restored and made successful.
How do your husband and your children perceive the amount
of control you have over your tongue?
How important do you see your power of influence
in the lives of your children?
I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America. Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a spanish-speaking church in Southern California. My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights.