7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
The old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt” seems to be true on one level, but according to the Word of God, the words we speak to others can be full of poison. They can be vile and destructive. Some have wrongly interpreted this passage in James to mean that our words have power and what we say can effect our life and the lives of others, or put another way, our words create the life we confess. So if you say that your feeling sick, your words will create sickness in our life, or if you speak positive words then positive things will happen to you. This is not the meaning of this text. What James is saying is that the untamed tongue is evil because with it we speak blessing to God, but then we turn around and cures our brothers. This is the great danger. But notice that James tells us that no human can tame the tongue, meaning that no matter how hard we try all our effort will never control its restless evil. So what hope to we have? Our hope is in the one who made the tongue. When we look to Christ as our merciful Lord and Savior, then we have the Spirit of God in us and that Spirit in us is the one who can control our tongue. So look to Christ for your help and he will conform you to his likeness.