by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
Elephants are the largest land animal that roams parts of the earth. They are pretty amazing creatures. But did you know that there is another mammal whose tongue alone can weigh as much as an elephant?
The blue whale is the largest mammal that currently inhabits our world. Its heart is as large as a small car and only beats once every ten seconds. A human could swim through its arteries.
The humpback whale’s tongue weighs even more and can equal the weight of an African male elephant. Another interesting thing about whales is how far their voices travel underwater. Some articles say that a whale sound can be detected in some case up to 4,000 miles away. Of course, you would need to be a whale to understand the call of another whale. The point is that sounds travel underwater for long distances and communicate to other whales.
Our human tongues are much smaller and even when we yell at the top of our lungs the sound doesn’t travel that far.
However, the words that we speak with our tongue and with the sounds that we make do have weight and they do travel sometimes for great distances.
Look also at ships; although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
The whales’ tongue is large. But it is still small compared to the rest of their bodies. And the sounds that they make travel great distances.
Our tongues are small compared to the rest of our bodies. But the sounds of our voices can travel great distances.
The words that we speak or write can do great good or great harm. We can hit the share button on our social media accounts and spread amazing good news.
Or we can hit the share button and end up sharing all manner of conspiracy theories, partial truths, or outright lies that feed into what we want to believe. And way too many times we want to believe the worst about those we disagree with.
The Christian believer is called to share the good news of Jesus. To tell people that Jesus is coming soon. The Christian can do this by word and action.
Frankly it takes both to fully spread the good news of Jesus. It is about each of us saying that we will use our tongues and our influence for good in this world. That is being totally involved in what we are called to do in our world.
That makes the weight of the tongue very important as we share Jesus with the world.