If any man offend not in word, the same is a PERFECT MAN,
and able also to bridle the whole body.
Said James, "For in many things we offend all. But if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole body." Then James makes his point. "The tongue is also a little member. But behold how great a forest a little fire can burn. So is the tongue a fire among our members. It defileth the whole body. It is set on fire of hell."
Well, that's pretty straightforward. Obviously, James doesn't mean our tongues are always iniquitous nor that everything we say is full of deadly poison. But he clearly means that at least some things we say can be destructive, even venomous. And that is a chilling indictment. The voice that bears profound testimony utters fervent prayer and sings the hymns of Zion can be the same voice that berates and criticizes, embarrasses and demeans, inflicts pain and destroys the spirit of oneself and of others in the process.
"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing," James grieves. "My brethren and sisters, these things ought not to be." Is this something we must all work on? Is this not an area which we must each struggle to be the perfect man or woman? Let it never be said of our ward or our home or our neighborhood that the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity burning among our members.
Consider the word "PERFECT." 1. having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. verb: perfect; 3rd person present: perfects; past tense: perfected; Make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible.
Would you purchase a new car, then find the motor was missing. Would you say, "That's OK! No one can be perfect! When we start out in life we begin as an apprentice. That's a beginner. Then we grow into a journeyman, a worker or sports player who is reliable but not outstanding. Then we become a master. A skilled practitioner of a particular art or activity.
God requires 100% PERFECTION! So simply be kind to everyone.
Gossipers go to hell.
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
I John 4:19
We love him, because he first loved us.
Love your neighbors as yourself. Your neighbors are every