This week we will be looking at James 3, the Tongue. The tongue can be a blessing and a curse. Today we will study the dangers of the tongue. Our key verse is James 3:6.
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
Dangers of the tongue v 1-12
Masters (teachers) receive a stricter judgment v 1-2
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”
Control your tongue and you will control your whole body v 3-5
“Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”
The uncontrolled tongue is destructive v 6-12
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”
The challenge here is for us to control what we say. God does not look the other way when we speak. We need to carefully choose our words so that we please God, encourage the brethren, and admonish the lost. When we speak for God in a Sunday school lesson, Bible study, or preaching, God is listening to make sure we have rightly divided the Word of God.
My prayer would be that our words would be a blessing to God and the people who hear what we say.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001