James 3 v 1 - 6

In the United States, ex-President Donald Trump is being impeached for things he said a few weeks ago when he was still President which were seen as inflammatory and caused the riots in the Capitol. As much, if not more so, we are forced to recognise the power of the tongue to bring sweetness and joy into a person's life or to drag them down so that they already feel surrounded by the fires of hell! A lovely song which I and I'm sure some of you will have sung as a child was 'O be careful little eyes' and the third verse of it goes: ''O be careful little tongue what you say O be careful little tongue what you say For the Father up above Is looking down in love So, be careful little tongue what you say.'' I know that there have been many times when I've come away from meeting someone annoyed with myself for saying something which may have hurt them and there is no going back once those words are said! I urge myself constantly to take a moment before I respond, just to swiftly run it past my heart and conscience if it is the wise, caring thing to say. As you know, a few hundred yards from the Chapel Fi and I attended in the village where we had our shop was a drug and alcohol rehab centre. Often the clients there were not permitted to leave the building, the exception being on a Sunday morning to come to church. I remember speaking to one man who came to Chapel for a few months and he said that one thing he had learned was not to react immediately to something someone had said. The previous day, someone had said something not nice to him and instead of retaliating by getting right in his face and maybe hitting him, this man took a step back, recognised that the other person was coming from a dark place and gave him a hug instead! What a lesson to have learned! And what a lesson we should all learn. Just as with the fires in California and Australia, once the fire has started it is very hard to put out!

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