The Perfection Of Taming The Tongue

James 3:1-2 (NIV)
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
​As a a preacher and teacher, I sometimes tremble at the thought of judgment over my words.  It’s one of the reasons that I script out my messages I preach and the Bible studies I lead.​  ​James says that ​those who preach and teach will be judged more strictly.  Words have great power.  Words can build someone up or tear someone down.  Words can bring healing and words can wound.  Words can make someone soar with the eagles or they can clip someone’s wings so that they never fly again.  Our words can be helpful or they can be dangerous.  People take our words so seriously.  This is why James warns those who preach and teach the Word of God.  Our words can inspire saving faith in Jesus by God’s grace or they can push someone away from the Gospel.  That is not to discount the power of the Holy Spirit to intervene.  If God could speak through a donkey to get His message across, He can surely work in spite of my own faults and failures.
The dangers of the tongue are not just warned against for preachers and teachers.  James concedes that we all stumble in many ways.  We’re all sinners in need of grace.  The tongue, though, is so hard to control that James says that the one who can is perfect.  Controlling the tongue is the hardest part of our bodies to tame.  Let’s face the facts.  There are so many ways we can sin with our tongues.  Insults and put-downs.  Gossip and spreading rumors.  Unwholesome talk.  Coarse joking.  Lies and half-truths.  There are a myriad of ways that we can hurt those whom we love with our speech.  The tongue is indeed a difficult animal to tame.

PRAYER: Lord, I need Your help in controlling my tongue.  I will be tempted to sin in many ways with my tongue today.  I will be tempted to lash out in anger.  I will be tempted to lie.  I will be tempted to gossip.  I need Your Holy Spirit to remind me that I need to control my tongue.  May the words of my mouth be pleasing to You today.  In Jesus’ name, amen.


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