Animal Us

Do you ever find yourself using terms like this?

I was so hungry I wolfed down my food. My life is squirrelly right now. He’s as quiet as a mouse. She’s one sly fox. His dinosaur thinking drives me crazy. He’s as crooked as a snake and as jumpy as a kangaroo.

Or maybe these are your favourites: Can a leopard change its spots? That child is as gentle as a lamb. He’s as proud as a peacock, slow as a tortoise or maybe gentle as a dove? What about a tongue like a viper?

A viper is a snake with hollow fangs that it uses to inject venom into its victim when it bites. But it is also an offensive term for somebody who is considered to be malicious, treacherous, or ungrateful

When people are described in animalistic terms, the dictionary calls it zoomorphism. On the other hand, if we give human strengths and characteristics to non-humans, it’s called anthropomorphism. These terms help us picture the person or object with more clarity. James uses some of these in this passage of scripture.

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. (James 3:5, NIV)

What is your tongue doing?

Prayer – God, remind us to think before we speak! Thanks. For Christ who never said a word awry. Amen

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