James 3:7-9 – For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
“Loose lips sink ships.” During World War II, this slogan appeared on propaganda posters created and distributed by a major American distiller. The slogan advised servicemen and other American citizens to avoid careless talk about secure military information. Speaking openly about knowledge of a ship’s course might allow the enemy to intercept and destroy American naval ships.
Consider for a moment that, in the day that James warned us to consider our communication, there was no electricity, printing press, or internet. How much more ominous are his words in our day of cell phones, emails, texts, social media, platforms, comments sections, phone calls, videos, and the innumerable other ways we can curse others with our communication?
As someone who has spent their adult life largely in the public eye communicating, there is a list of regrets that quickly comes to mind of things I have said and typed. The timeless Word of God is more timely than ever and careless and uncontrolled speech can bring much destruction unlike any other time in human history.
Think of a time you said something that you wished you wouldn’t have. Ask God first for forgiveness and second to help you refrain from speaking in those moments in the future.