Our Daily Bread Teens Edition

Devotional

Read James 3:3–12


3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig-tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.




The Silent Keyboard


I know someone who waits 24 hours before replying to any email that annoys him. If he feels like he still needs to send a reply after a day, then he will. But more often than not, he doesn’t. There’s a lot of unsent messages left in his drafts folder.


It’s so easy to reply impulsively to emails, text messages, or social media posts. But if we stopped to think for a few minutes before sending our messages, we might avoid upsetting or hurting our friends. The Bible talks about how hurtful words can be: “No human being can tame the tongue” (James 3:8). It can be hard to control what we say on a good day, never mind when we’re upset!


When we’re talking about our friends or trying to get even, we can find ourselves writing and saying things that hurt the people whom God has created. Perhaps our mouths, our pens, and our keyboards should be “quiet” more often. The next time you want to write a sarcastic or mean comment, try waiting for a bit.


As followers of Jesus, we can choose to react to posts with kind and patient words. We may not be able to do it straightaway if we feel mad, but if we give ourselves a bit of time from the messages to talk to God and cool down, we’ll be able to take control of our words and use them to show Jesus’ love. —RK


Just because you can reply instantly, doesn’t mean you should.




Talk to God


Help me, Father, to use my words to serve You and love the people You have made.




More Stuff for Ya


Words can kill


Small tongue, big power


Beware the Greek fire