For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (ESV)
I love going to the zoo. I also love aquariums. God has made some truly amazing animals. It is fascinating to recognize all the variety in God's creation. Massive elephants using their trunks to feed themselves and even give themselves a shower! I love the whimsical play of dolphins who seem to have an almost human intelligence.
James reminds us that all kinds of beasts, on ground and in the sea, have been tamed by man. Perhaps you have seen killer whales jumping through hoops at Sea World. Or maybe you have gone to a circus and seen tigers performing tricks. These animals can be fierce and kill their prey. Yet, mankind has found a way to bring them into submission.
Consider for a moment what James is telling us today. We can tame a vicious lion. We can bring a shark into obedience to our will. Snakes, panthers, gorillas, and all manner of beasts are easier to tame than our big human mouths! In fact, James goes so far as to say that not only is taming the tongue difficult, it is actually impossible for a human being to do.
Our tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. How is this so? Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Clearly, our tongue speaks evil because it is an outflow of our sinful hearts. In order for the tongue to be tamed, our heart has to be surrendered to the Lord, who alone can change us.
Take a moment and think of all the evil that has come out of your mouth. Maybe even today you have said something you regret. Ask the Lord to forgive your sinful heart, and enable you by his Holy Spirit to bring control to your deadly tongue.