I love the little but powerful book of James. James talks about the tongue. Not controlling your tongue will steal your peace.

James Chapter 3, verses 4-6 says: Look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire.

Robert and I were playing golf with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. (Actually, they were playing, we were attempting.) The week prior had been non-stop rain, so the course was wet. Signs everywhere said to keep the carts on the path.

On the 9th hole four young men had their carts parked all along the green. For one, you don’t park carts there in normal weather, and two, it was putting the surrounding ground in jeopardy of being damaged.

The grounds keeper is an elderly gentleman with a prosthetic leg. He slowly walked out of the club house and yelled out to the young men to move their carts onto the path. His voice didn’t carry at all, and they never heard him after three attempts. Seeing his frustration, I shouted at the top of my choir lungs, “Get the carts onto the path!” That they heard. I could have at least said, please first, but I didn’t. I was annoyed and felt compassion for the grounds keeper.

I knew I was going to get back talk. As they approached the club house, they mimicked me in a snotty tone under their breaths, “Get the carts on the path.” The grounds keeper gave them and ear full when they walked into the club house.

I had just read that in Czechoslovakia, they say that an echo in the woods returns your own call.

My echo wasn’t a pretty one. I could have helped the grounds keeper with a kinder, gentler tone, and educated the young men as opposed to chastising them.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peace makers.” This scenario could have escalated. Thankfully, it didn’t. But it once again made me mindful of how our tone of voice and reactions can cause a potential good or bad consequence.

The tongue is a small member, but it can get us into big trouble. So, when you control your tongue you control your peace. May your calls echo back to you with love and kindness.

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