One of the smallest parts of our body can cause a word of trouble. Look at how James describes the mouth:
1-2 Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.
3-5 A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!
5-6 It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. James 3:1-6 (MSG)
Many people feel as if they are perfectly capable of being an authority on most everything – it doesn’t matter whether they have properly researched the topic by those who are validated as authorities. They feel as if their opinion is the only "authority" needed. Yet, James articulates what happens when our ‘mouths" get out of control, it can set off a spark, a forest fire, in fact it can send the whole world up in smoke! And where does this come from – it comes from the very pit of hell! When we speak careless words, spoken out of some kind of emotion, rather than fact, we can change the atmosphere, we can destroy a person’s reputation, we can cause havoc in otherwise peaceable situations. Now, I started saying, "many people"; but truth be told we are all subject to this kind of behavior. Even well-meaning words, can fall upon ears whose heart is hardened against receiving anything, even love. What is the remedy – not talk at all?
Fortunately, James also addresses how we can govern our tongue:
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: James 1:19 (KJV)
And, of course the wisest man that lived before Jesus had this to say:
Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice? She’s taken her stand at First and Main, at the busiest intersection. Right in the city square where the traffic is thickest, she shouts, "You—I’m talking to all of you, everyone out here on the streets! Listen, you idiots—learn good sense! You blockheads—shape up! Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well, I’m telling you how to live at your best. My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth— I can’t stand the taste of evil! You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth; not one syllable will be twisted or skewed. You’ll recognize this as true—you with open minds; truth-ready minds will see it at once. Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money, and God-knowledge over a lucrative career. For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her. Proverbs 8:6(MSG)
You know where Wisdom is found – the B-I-B-L-E!