I recently read a story of an 18-foot python snake in Florida killed by hunters and found to have a five-foot alligator in its belly.
The owners of a shop in London, England, put this sign on their door when leaving – “Beware of Snakes.” At night they let a boa constrictor, a yellow rat snake, a yell0w-belly racer, an anaconda, and a California brown snake roam the store.
The owners say that a benefit of having snakes as security guards is that the snakes never sleep.
Are we feeling a bit queasy now? If so, take a deep breath because we are going to discuss something worse than snakes.
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:7-8, NLT).
Let’s talk about a poisonous tongue.
There are two types of poisons found in snakes.
One type of poison destroys the blood’s ability to coagulate and is found in Rattlesnakes and Copperheads.
The other type of poison interferes with the nervous system, paralyzing a victim’s ability to breathe. This venom is found in Coral snakes and the dreaded Black Mamba (the only snake known to stalk humans).
The Bible discusses two types of poison from the tongue – gossip and slander. Gossip repeats idle rumors, and slander spreads falsehood with evil intentions. Both gossip and slander can kill a relationship.
How about our conversations? Are they described by the Apostle Paul when he writes . . .
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies. Snake venom drips from their lips (Romans 3:13, NLT).
I hope not!
The tongue has great potential for both blessing and cursing. As James says . . .
Sometimes it [the tongue] praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth (James 3:9-10, NLT).
Personally, I find that God can change the tongue. Whereas a snake always has the same evil nature, our flesh can be changed into the image of God.
How? By learning to speak blessings!
- Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them (Romans 12:14, NLT).
- Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends (Proverbs 17:9, NLT).
- But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13, NASB1995).
I ask God every morning to remind me in my spirit to speak a blessing upon every person that I encounter that day.
While considering snakes, my grandson has developed a fascination. In this photo, Jesse has met a new friend. (I hope it’s not a Rattlesnake or a Black Mamba!)