"And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites." (James 3:4-5)
Every ship is guided. They are large and influenced by the strong wind that surround, yet are still guided by the smallest part. This direction is not by chance but according to the will of the pilot. The pilot has the ability to influence the entire course of the ship by choosing where to steer the rudder.
James uses this analogy to help us understand the power in our words.
It's easy to think that words are a byproduct of circumstances and relationships. They simply tell the story. According to James, they aren't just descriptive.
Words carry weight. They guide me. They steer. They change the way I feel. They influence what I think. They set the tone for what I expect of God.
Where do you want to go today? You words will steer the rudder. The rudder guides the ship.
Speak truth, in your thoughts and words. Ask Him to reveal thoughts and words that are not based in truth There is nothing you need that He cannot supply (Philippians 4:19).
Speak gratitude. His desire is that we give thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Gratitude fuels contentment.
Speak encouragement. We need building up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). There's a surplus of voices that tear down. We don't need anymore.
Speak acceptance. Accept each other as is, as Christ has accepted you (Romans 15:7). He doesn't wait for our perfection to accept us, just our willingness.
Speak faith. Choose words that reflect that you believe (or at least want to believe that) there is nothing you need that He cannot supply (Philippians 4:19). Choose words that reflect your confidence in His presence in your life and your circumstance, and His ability to work in whatever way is needed.
Speak life and watch Him steer the ship of your life today.