Same Same But Different (James 3:8-9)

During our recent visit to Thailand, we were introduced to a popular tourist phrase, “Same Same But Different.” My son even purchased a tee-shirt with the phrase emblazoned with bold letters and we delighted in introducing our friends to this Thai aphorism.


We heard it in a wide variety of settings. Ostensibly, it means different but similar. However, it is a metaphor for the polite and humble Thai people. In conversations, it allows one to politely disagree with one another. In awkward situations such as being late for a meeting, its use can defuse a potentially embarrassing moment. Same same but different is a very useful phrase!


But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

James 3:8-9 (ESV)


There are more proverbs about the tongue than any other in the Book of Proverbs and warnings about the thoughtless or careless use of the tongue are liberally sprinkled throughout the rest of the Bible. As James points out, the same tongue that blesses God will curse others, created in the image of God. Tame the tongue? We would do well to keep it tucked away, like in our mouth. 


In this present age, much of our communication is through text messages and emails. We may not speak to others as frequently as we once did but the tongue is still alive and well, wreaking havoc through vitriolic text messages and hateful social media postings. It is the same same but different. Is there something that can silence the action of the virtual tongue? Is there a virtual mouth?


The solution is not a virtual mouth because it is the person to whom the tongue belongs. Our futile efforts to tame our tongue, whether in speech or internet postings, demonstrate our desperate need for a Savior. We need a supernatural intervention in our life to change our very being. Only by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior can we begin the transformation to tame the tongue, virtual or real.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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