5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell (James 3).

Now, it is one thing for the tongue to be like a bridle or a rudder—it is quite another for it to be “a fire” which “is set on fire by hell” itself in order to “set on fire the course of our life!” Hell may be defined as “the very world of iniquity”—and yet that evil world may also reside in such a place as the human tongue. This must be at least a strong suggestion to us just how much the devil wishes to influence the words that come out of our mouths.

One of the greatest understatements (use of words) we can ever make is to say that words are important. The truth is, the right use of words goes way beyond mere importance—it is absolutely essential. For perhaps nothing else distinguishes the Christian from a non-believer more than the words which precede from his mouth. We are all either children of God or children of the devil, and the tongue is always a tell-tale sign of our true pedigree.

Lord, help us This Day to show others a godly pedigree through what we say. Amen.