Apparently the strongest muscle in the human body based on its weight is the Masseter. This is muscle at the back of the jaw bone that goes hard when you clench your teeth. With all the muscles of the jaw working together apparently it can close the teeth with a force as great as 25 kilo’s on the front teeth and up to 90.7 kilos on the molars. And yet whilst this might be the most powerful based on weight without a doubt the most powerful muscle in the body is the tongue.
In James 3 we are reminded just how power the tongue is. But sadly among us the tongue is often used to whinge and complain gossip and slander rather than to encourage and build up. This is incredibly sad and must stop if we as God’s people want to reflect his glory and honour his name in this world.
Why is it that we often tell people what they have done wrong or complain when things are not quite done right instead of speaking encouraging words, saying thanks or building a person up. And often the things we whinge and complain about are so small and peripheral to the ministry of the gospel. It might come as a real surprise to know that gospel ministry is not about meeting your needs but serving God and seeking the glory of his name in their world.
We might well have just fallen into bad habits or it could well be the smallness of our world. If that is the case then we need to repent of this ungodly whinging and complaining and start using our tongues in a more godly way.
Not only is it ungodly to whinge and complain it also has a big impact on those who have put the effort into the organisation. When ministries or events happen at church I often speak to those who have been involved in the organisation and they speak of the great discouragement they feel due to the critical comments that are made.
Who cares if the lighting was not perfect… or the coffee not quite hot enough… if you are complaining about this then this shows the gospel has not take root in your heart. And if the talk did not exactly scratch where you are itching just remember that lots of people itch in lots of places and you are not the centre of the world. Come along, enjoy, encourage and spur each other on for the glory and honour of God.
An old saying my dad used to repeat went like this, “if you go through life looking for faults I am sure you will always find them but it can be somewhat kind to be somewhat blind and look for the virtue behind them”. As one of the kids Disney movies said, “if you can’t say nothing nice don’t say nothing at all”.
It would be well worth the time to sit down and reread James this passage sometime this week and then reflect on how you use your tongue.