Words have great power, and the Bible contains some great word pictures.  The letter of James in the New Testament makes the point that, even though it is small, the tongue can have a huge impact.  James likens the tongue to three things:

  • The rudder in a ship - small and mostly invisible, but able to steer a large vessel wherever the captain wants to go;

  • A bit in the mouth of a horse - a small thing that can (with the help of bridle and reins) determine the direction of the horse and its rider;

  • A spark - a tiny thing but enough to light a forest fire, even the huge ones we have recently seen on TV devastating chunks of the Amazon rain forest.


Words can be used for good or ill:  'I love you' and 'I hate you' are very short phrases but they are remembered by their hearers, often years after they are uttered.  I wonder what examples come into your mind as you read this. 


One of the saddest things I've seen was a stressed single mum screaming 'I hate you, I never wanted you' to her child - tragically, he will carry that memory for the rest of his life.  By contrast, being told 'I love you' by those closest to us carries amazing weight, especially when accompanied by loving actions.


In the course of daily life, we have the chance to use words in different ways.  I hope you will choose yours carefully.