“Sally Doesn’t Work There Any Longer.” (James 3:7-9)

Early in my career, I worked in a hospital laboratory staffed by over one hundred employees. With many moving parts, it was efficiently coordinated and overseen by Sally, my laboratory manager. One day, I was in a conversation with the manager of another reference laboratory which our laboratory used to do some specialized testing. We had previously conversed about technical issues, although the last time was several months earlier. I was calling to discuss the pricing for one of their tests for one of my patients. As we spoke, I informed the other manager to forward the new pricing to my laboratory manager, Sally. 

“Oh…” The manager’s voice trailed off. “I was told that Sally doesn’t work there any longer!”

“That’s odd.” I replied. “Who told you that?”

“Your laboratory manager, Jake.”

“My manager?”

“Yes. “

“I think there has been some mistake. Sally is still working here and she is still the manager. Jake had no authority to state that and I assure you, he is not the manager.”

There was a long pause. “I see. I think we all need to speak to Sally. I negotiated a deal with Jake with different pricing than what we had previously done.”

I ended the call and emailed Sally who was on a medical leave of absence. During the months she was gone, Jake, one of the laboratory shift supervisors, had been speaking to many of the vendors for the laboratory and misrepresenting himself as the new laboratory manager, unknownst to hospital administrators, the other laboratory supervisors, and the pathologists. I wondered how he was going to defend himself when Sally returned? I didn’t have to wonder. Once the hospital administration and other laboratory supervisors found out what was happening, Jake was terminated. It was such a risky strategy, one that was bound to fail. Why would Jake do this? Why would someone repeatedly lie?

Every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish is tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 

James 3:7-9 (CSB)

There are nearly two hundred verses in the Bible that admonish us about lying. Our tongues enable us to lie, slander, curse and praise God, all in the same breath. We think we can control and tame it but the reality is exactly what transpired with Jake and his nefarious actions. If we cannot tame our own tongue, what hope do we have? God gives us the answer a few verses later.

Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:7-8 (CSB)

To tame our tongues, we need to change our focus and draw near to God. The more time we spend in fellowship with Him, the easier it will be to resist Satan’s urges to lie and slander. When God fills our hearts, we leave no room for Satan. We will no longer be double-minded, but single-minded, focused upon serving and submitting to God and allowing Him to purify our hearts and tame our tongues. 

Amen!

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

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