In the World–August 23, 2020

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In Ghana this month, a politician was reprimanded in the media for making what his opponents called reckless comments. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, accused military officers conducting traffic stops in the Banda Constituency region of being “drunkards” who “looked like rebels on drugs.” Opponents condemned Asiedu Nketia’s remarks, reminding him repeatedly that he should know better. In this culture, as a person ages, he is expected to gain mastery over his tongue. “He is an elderly man,” said one detractor, “and so he should not talk recklessly.”


James reminds his readers how important it is to speak wisely, as well. The tongue is the conduit for both praise and cursing, and though the tongue can be harder to tame than a wild beast, still the wise man will tame it. Reckless words can set the whole course of one’s life on fire.

  1. What consequences result from speaking carelessly?
  2. Why is it sometimes difficult to hold our tongue?
  3. When have you seen how powerful words can be to build someone up?

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