• Today's Daily Devotion
A Sharp Tongue
Life is never easy aboard a navy ship. The quarters are cramped, the days and nights are long, and wartime deployments can seem unending. In addition to regular duties ...

A Sharp Tongue

Life is never easy aboard a navy ship. The quarters are cramped, the days and nights are long, and wartime deployments can seem unending. In addition to regular duties, everyone stands watches at ever-changing hours, interrupting any sense of a normal routine. Fear, frustration, fatigue, and the virtual absence of alone time make friction among crew members inevitable. One sailor’s advice to his shipmates was published in his ship’s newsletter to remind everyone to: “Be kind! It’s so easy to make a sarcastic remark that may hurt a shipmate. Besides, sometimes a man is not being so brilliant as he thinks.”

There are times when every one of us gets frustrated with other people. I am especially guilty of voicing displeasure at clerks and service workers who don’t seem to be as conscientious as I think they should be. There is very specific biblical instruction in both the Old and New Testaments advising us to be careful of what we say. Proverbs tells us, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing”(Proverbs 12:18), and “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity”(Proverbs 21:23). These are words to remember when feeling impatient toward others.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

—James 1:19


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