I found it very hard to decide what to use out of this passage as the whole section is excellent so I've taken the liberty of paraphrasing this section in the hope of getting ALL the juicy bits. So here goes....
Vs 1: Think seriously about teaching the word, because you'll be judged more strictly (why? you're influencing people with your words - imagine influencing people incorrectly?)
Vs2: We all make mistakes, but if you can control your tongue, you can control yourself in every other way.
Vs3-4: A small bit controls a big horse, a tiny rudder controls a large ship
Vs 5: So also the tongue - a tiny member - can cause enormous damage
Vs 6: The tongue is like a fire that can ruin your whole life
Vs 7-8: You can tame any animal, but no one can tame the tongue
This is the most profound statement in these verses for me:
Vs 10: And so blessing and cursing come pouring out the same mouth. Surely, this is NOT right.
I see these verses as a HUGE caution sign. We hold the power of life OR death in our tongue with our words. I have seen how my words damage and I have been damaged by the words of others. Taming the tongue is a bit like choosing truth over feelings - choose control (self-control - one of the fruits of the spirit) over expelling your feelings verbally. You know, a bit of "think before you speak?"
I believe the heart is connected to the tongue and we should make it our business to start filling our hearts with God's word, God's attitudes, God's love, His truth - so that our tongue starts to "flap" with good instead of bad.
As always, my encouragement to you is get stuck into the word. As it soaks into your heart, your tongue will also be influenced - for good and not bad!
Joining with Laura at Beholding Glory for: