When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Although ships are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a small rudder . . . . . 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. 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. . . . animals have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:3-6
I must confess that there are times – especially when discussing politics – that I really want to be honest. But I usually don’t take the bait. Because some people will just not listen to reason. Or logic. And furthermore, words – once said – cannot be retrieved. As Omar Khayyam observes: “The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on. Nor all your piety nor wit can call back half a line. Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.”
My father always advised “think before you speak.” His words were as Biblical as they were prophetic. I may not always succeed but I do try and keep a hand on the tiller of my tongue. Usually I succeed. But if I don’t, Katy bar the door. Just wait ’til my next post. . . . .