The Defiling Tongue

James 3:6

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”

Though the tongue is a small member of the human body, it can cause great damage to our Christian testimony and to others’ lives. If fire is not carefully managed, it can quickly spread, destroying and devouring everything in its path. Likewise, an uncontrolled tongue spread sinful and destructive words around. So, the tongue is described as “a fire” and “a world of iniquity”.

With their tongue, people spread many sins around. They tell lies, curse others, pass rumours around, speak boastful things, hurt others, call names, malign and threaten others, humiliate others, cause discord or quarrel, teach false doctrines, and even blaspheme God, among other sins.

Because of all such evils that a tongue commits, it often “defileth the whole body”. No person or child with an evil tongue will be regarded as good. Such an individual will be regarded as a corrupt or defiled person. Like fire, an evil tongue will damage the whole course of one’s life. Evil things spoken can destroy individual lives, families, schools, churches and communities. The danger of the sinful tongue lies in its being associated with “fire of hell”. The fire of hell is unquenchable, keeps on burning (Mark 9:43-44; cf. Isaiah 66:24; Matthew 5:22). Note also that hell is Satan’s place, prepared
for him and his demons (Matthew 25:41). An evil tongue, like hell fire, represents Satan’s hellish purposes to pollute, corrupt and destroy! So, let us guard our tongue. Pray that God will help us to use our tongue only for holy and honourable purposes.

Prabhudas Koshy