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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Hold your tongue

It's old advice and wise, for winter harmony

February: It may be the shortest month, but it seems like the longest. We grew up in South Dakota and Wisconsin, so we know what can happen to folks this time of year. People get restless cooped up inside, complaining about dry skin and having to wear too many layers of clothes. And outside, the cold, wet weather just won't go away. As the month drags on, the irritability index rises dramatically.

In James 3:5-6, we read: "So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire." How easy it is for our tongues to set blazes here and there in February: We criticize our spouse. We gossip about our neighbor. We snap at the store clerk. We get sarcastic with telemarketers. We know we shouldn't use our tongues to lash out at others, but it just seems to happen.


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