Through the use of metaphors, James warns us about the tongue. There is nothing good or bad, right or wrong about a tongue; it is simply a few ounces of muscle. But the tongue articulates the contents of the heart. If a flask full of acid is bumped, acid will spill out. If a flask full of water is bumped, only water will spill out. Water will never spill out of a flask of acid, and acid will never spill out of a flask of water. In that sense, the tongue merely reveals the heart. Let the heart be bumped, and the tongue will reveal what is in the heart. In controlling the tongue, you must control the heart. If you want to change the words of the tongue, you must change the condition of the heart.
Offer your praise to the Lord who can soften our hearts and sweeten our tongues:
You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the souls of His saints;
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
And gladness for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name (Psalm 97:10-12).
Now pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:8-9)
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, and pray this affirmation to the Lord:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye (Psalm 32:8).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
greater love for other Christians,
missionaries in Europe and Asia,
whatever else is on your heart.
Finally, offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen
(1 Peter 5:10-11)