Despite all the things we are now able to control through modern science and technology, there is still one thing we have not yet mastered control over—and that’s the power of our tongue.

James uses a few fitting metaphors to illustrate the power of the tongue: “Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, [ships] are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark” (James 3:4-5).

Perhaps the most common forms of sin in the church today are the sins of the tongue. Our words have the power to wound feelings, devastate reputations, shatter self-esteem, and destroy relationships. One simple act of gossip can ruin a witness for Christ—and yet so often we cannot resist the temptation!

Jesus said that the things we speak are actually the overflow of what’s in our hearts (see Matthew 12:34). Is your heart filled with pride, sarcasm, accusation, or bitterness? Or is it filled with Christ’s love, encouragement, wisdom, and power?

The Truth is we can’t put an end to the gossip, lying, and blaming that create division in our families and our churches—but God can. With His Spirit at work within us, we can learn how to use our words to empower greatly, correct gently, and lead humbly.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times I have used my words to bring destruction instead of encouragement. May my words be vessels of Your love and Truth. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (James 3:9-10).

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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