PASSAGE: "For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no human being can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of devil poison." (James 3:7-8 RSV).
QUESTION: It seems that the Bible is stating a problem with the tongue but is not offering a solution. This is confusing. I have a problem not being able to bridle my tongue but I don't know what to do about it. I've prayed for deliverance several times but still have this problem. Thank you for your help.
COMMENT: This passage is not a blanket condemnation of the tongue, but a warning about the choices we make concerning how it is used. "From the same mouth come blessing and cursing" (3:10). The teaching here is that we cannot safely trust that choice to our human consciousness—our belief in duality, in separation, in limitation. What, then, are we to do? We are to trust the other voice within us—the loving, spiritually centered guidance of the Christ within us. Praying for deliverance is helpful, of course. But ultimately the choice is completely ours. We can use our tongue to enunciate words of anger, judgment and fear. Or we can carefully choose to speak words of love, joy and gratitude. Both voices—both “tongues”—exist within us. Our life experience will reflect the faith we have in one voice or the other. In my experience, the Christ Voice is usually quieter. So perhaps praying for the ability to hear it clearly, and the strength to trust and follow its guidance, is the most powerful choice we can make.