Image- Reflecting: Controlling your tongue


Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.

James 3:3-5

We put a bit in the mouth of a horse to make it obey us.  We can control the whole animal with it.  And how about ships?  They are very big.  They are driven along by the strong winds.  But they are steered by a very small rudder.  It makes them go where the captain wants them to go.  In the same way they tongue is a small part of the body.  But it brags a lot.  Think about how a small spark can set a big forest on fire.”  


If you watch your tongue (your fingers when you email), you will save yourself all sorts of trouble. If you will keep what you say under control, your life will be blessed. You can get into trouble with gutter talk, foolishness, and saying “I’m only joking!” (Pr 14:9; 26:18-19; Eccl 7:6; Eph 4:29; 5:3-7). You get into trouble with slander, gossip and malicious talk (Pr 10:18; 11:13; 16:28; 18:8; 20:19; 25:23; 26:20-22). Complaining gets you into trouble (Num 11:1; Ps 106:24-27). Don’t lie. Honesty is the best policy (Pr 12:22; Ex 20:16; Lev 19:11; Eph 4:25). The people who suffer the most are those around us (Pr 12:18; Eph 6:4; Col 3:19. Use kind words (Col 4:6).

How can you avoid trouble with your mouth and tongue? First, when you are talking or emailing, cut down your words. Less is more (Pr 10:19). Second, practice your active listening before speaking (Pr 29:20; Jas 1:19). Third, remember that you’ll be asked to explain your idle words (Matt 12:34-37). Fourth, we need to say David’s prayer, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips” (Ps 141:3).


How well did you listen to the story?

Q. What’s the name of Granny’s biggest horse?
A. His name is Desperado.

Q. What kind of horse is Paradiso?
A. He is a quarter horse.

Q. How did Lucille know about the function of a bridle?
A. She learned about it in Church School when they were reading the Book of James.

Q. Name a person and an animal that was lassoed by Morrie.
A. Morrie lassoed Miss Wattle and a cat.

Q. Where does Liz have to wait as a punishment?
A. He has to stay on the bus.


This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.


Is it a sin to talk too much?


Talking too much may open the door to sin. Talking too much may add to gossip. Talking too much may stop you from listening. Talking too much might sound like boasting. Talking too much may be useless talk. Taking too much may lead to profanity.  Talking too much may hurt the people you care about the most. Taming our tongue is a real challenge. We look to the Holy Spirit to help us with the fruit of self-control (Galatians 5:23). We continue to work hard to become the person who keeps the body in check (James 3:2).


Think about your conversations today in person, on email and on social media. What do you wish you had never said? Is there forgiveness you should seek? Read over the verses suggested above, and look at least one conversation tomorrow where you will try to “tame your tongue.”
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