Reflection: Sunday 12th September and for the week ahead:
If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.
How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. (James 3.2-6)
It has been horrendous, these last months, to see the devastating fires that have raged in many parts of the world. Once they take hold it is almost impossible to control them.
James compares the tongue to a starter of fires. One unkind remark, one unfounded accusation, one malicious rumour, can start a wildfire of gossip, often untrue or deliberately aken out of context. As it spreads it takes on a life of its own, accepted as ‘true’ because so many people believe it.
As Jesus said, ‘The mouth speaks what the heart is full of”.
It all starts in the heart.
And so we pray: ‘Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name’.