THE AMEN CORNER
with Deacon Brown
February 11, 2018
This feature replaces ESSAY-LIKE SUNDAY MORNING.
Once again, we were “rained out” from attending The Grove. However, our good friends and neighbors of Big Bethel Freewill Baptist Church, allowed us to use their facility to conduct our Sunday School as well as our Family and Friends Day and Black History Day Celebration. As I mentioned last week, anyone who knows anything about Georgia red-clay roads and rain, knows why attempting to brave those roads today, could have been a problem.
Our lesson was taught in tag team fashion by my brother-in-law, Brother Fields and our regular teacher, Sister Johnson. The lesson was entitled, Taming the Tongue. The Scripture was from James 3:1-12. The Key Verse was verse 8 which reads, No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison (NIV).
Verses 3 thru 9 read,
3 We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in his mouth. 4 And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong.
5 So also the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A great forest can be set on fire by one tiny spark. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness, and poisons every part of the body. And the tongue is set on fire by hell itself and can turn our whole lives into a blazing flame of destruction and disaster.
7 Men have trained, or can train, every kind of animal or bird that lives and every kind of reptile and fish, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is always ready to pour out its deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our heavenly Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against men who are made like God.
The following story is from Ellis and Allen (2016) of CNN;
A keeper at the Palm Beach Zoo died Friday afternoon after being attacked by a rare kind of tiger, zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter said.
Stacey Konwiser, 38, lead tiger keeper at the zoo, was killed by a 13-year-old male Malayan tiger, one of four at the facility, in the contained area where the animals are fed and sleep, Carter said.
PETA criticizes zoo
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals issued a statement criticizing the zoo.
“In nature, tigers have home ranges of hundreds of miles, so it’s no wonder that confining them to small spaces causes them to lash out in the frustration, stress, anxiety and agitation that they suffer when they’re denied their freedom and the ability to behave normally in every way — including choosing their mates, raising their young and seeking privacy from prying eyes.
“PETA sends our condolences to the zookeeper’s family and hopes that this incident will save human lives in the future by making zoos everywhere reconsider the confinement of big cats and other wildlife.”
[That was mighty KIND of PETA don’t you think?]
- Last September, a keeper was attacked and killed by a Sumatran tiger at a zoo in Hamilton, New Zealand.
- In June 2015, police shot and killed a white tiger that killed a man in Tbilisi, Georgia, after severe flooding allowed hundreds of wild animals to escape the city zoo.
- In 2013, a 24-year-old woman working at a Northern California animal sanctuary was mauled and killed by a lion.
- In 2007, an escaped Siberian tiger attacked and killed one zoo patron and injured two others in a cafe at the San Francisco Zoo.
- In 2003, a white tiger attacked Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy during a performance in Las Vegas. The tiger lunged at Horn’s neck about halfway through the show and dragged him off stage as audience members watched (p. 1).
The point is, NO ONE can tame a TIGER or LION. Even the ones who are born and bred in captivity, still harbor the wild, untamed instincts of the animals born in the jungles and forests of the world. The tigers and lions born in captivity can only be made to APPEAR tame and submissive.
LIKEWISE, the TOUNGUE is also wild and cannot be tamed by MAN. Man alone, can only make the tongue appear tame. James said that it could not be tamed by any HUMAN. However, it can be tamed, through prayer, supplication and knowing and obeying the word of God.
THE POWER OF THE TONGUE
The tongue is not only wild and virtually untamable, it is also POWERFUL.
- Did you know that the tongue is the only muscle in human body that works without any support from the skeleton? Yes! It is known as muscular hydrostat.
[Likewise, the tongue needs no support from anyone or anything to destroy the lives of others when it is uncontrolled.]
- The tongue is THE STRONGEST muscle in entire body.
[This is a myth. The jaw muscles are the strongest muscles of the body. But, the power of the tongue comes not from physical strength, but from flexibility. The tongue is the most flexible muscle in the body. Not only can it twist, turn, and curl like no other muscle, it can bless, as well as curse. Not to mention lie, gossip, backbite, etc.]
- In terms of flexibility, the tongue beats every other muscle in our body! Because of this flexibility, the tongue is capable of easily manipulating food inside the mouth and is also capable of acting as a natural cleanser for our teeth after a meal.
- Women have shorter tongues compared to males.
[Evidently, a wagging tongue does not have to be long!]
- Here is an interesting tongue fact – you don’t keep your tongue clean and you will get bad breath.
[This is SO TRUE. In the old days, parents used to wash their children’s mouths out with soap if they spoke profanely. It is also true that, those who do not mind their tongues may find themselves with spiritual halitosis.]
- About 2/3rd of the tongue is visible and the remaining 1/3rd is not visible. The part that is not visible is close to the throat.
[This fact also has an analogy in our spiritual lives. There are those that only about 2/3rds of what is on our minds comes out our mouths, the other third remains hidden.]
- In Tibet, you can merrily stick your tongue out at others. It will not be considered rude or childish. In Tibet, it is actually a greeting.
[However, I’d wouldn’t advise this action.]
It is also true that the tongue does not get tired and is constantly working. It is essential to mixing food in the mouth. It helps us form letters for verbal language. The tongue contains lingual tonsils that filter germs. Even when a person sleeps, the tongue is constantly pushing saliva down the throat. The tongue is strong and important, but not the strongest muscle.
[We all know people whose tongues are constantly working, and not for the good I might add. For those people, let us pray that their tongues tire.]
In conclusion, I offer this quote from our text’s author, “The Bible is clear. The tongue, though small, can do great damage. We must seek to develop protection, boundaries, and guards to help control the tongue—for if we leave our words unchecked, we leave ourselves open to being more of a hindrance than help for the kingdom of God.
P.S. This applies to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all other forms of communication.
/. (n.d.). The Tongue Is the Strongest Muscle in The Human Body – Fact or Myth? Retrieved February 11, 2018, from http://factmyth.com/factoids/the-tongue-is-the-strongest-muscle-in-the-human-
Fogelson, J. C. (2014, August 15). Fact or Fiction? The Tongue Is the Strongest Muscle in the Body.
Retrieved February 11, 2018, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-
Ellis, R., & Allen, K. (2016, April 16). Tiger attacks, kills keeper at Florida zoo. Retrieved February 11,