Posts Tagged ‘Tongue


The Power Of The Tongue

What if you could be perfect? What if you could overcome every temptation, struggle and sin in your life? What if you had the self-control and self-discipline to never sin? James says that if you could control your tongue, you would have the ability to be perfect. This is what he says:

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. – James 3:2 (NIV)

It takes more self-control to control your tongue than it does to control any other urge to sin in your entire body. In verses 3-6, James compares the tongue to a horse’s bit, a ship’s rudder and the tiny spark that can start a raging wildfire. Though each of these things is relatively small, they can have a great impact. So it is with the tongue. This tiny part of our bodies, James says, can start a raging fire. If you could control your tongue, you could be perfect. That’s the power of the tongue.

The Evidence Of A Changed Heart

We might think we’re pretty spiritual and religious by the religious things we do. We might feel pretty good about ourselves because we go to church regularly or put a $20.00 bill in the offering plate. Those might be good things to do, but they’re outward shows of religion that might not reflect an inner change of heart. James wrote:

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. – James 1:26 (NIV)

Jesus said that what we say comes right out of our hearts. God is more concerned about the state of your heart than He is with your “religious” activities. You can put on a good show, but the real proof of a changed heart is so much more basic. You can go to church with a begrudging attitude, but people will think you’re a good person. You can give an offering out of a clenched fist and people might think you’re generous. But your tongue will show the real you. Are you being transformed by the Holy Spirit? Are you being changed by God’s grace? Your tongue is the evidence of God’s work in your heart.

O Be Careful Little Tongue

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This message is based on James 3:1-12 and is about taming the tongue.


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.


Keeping Your Temper And Your Tongue In Check

James 1:19-20 (NIV)
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
James offers some great advice, not just for Christians, but for all people in verse 19 (NIV).
  • Be quick to listen
  • Be slow to speak
  • Be slow to become angry

Take a look at Facebook for a while and you’ll see that we are not following James’ advice.  We often fail to listen because we are formulating our argument against the person to whom we are talking.  We speak (comment) quickly and without much thought as to what we are saying.  We get very angry and very quickly and we let our emotions get the best of us.  This does not produce righteousness, which God desires (vs. 20).

James is setting the table for his teaching on the tongue later in chapter one.  When our tempers and emotions get the best of us, one of the first things to go is the control over our tongues.  God wants us to be righteous (to do the right things) with regard to what we say.  So whether we are posting or commenting on Facebook or other social media or having a discussion about politics or religion, remember that God’s desire is for us to keep our tempers and our tongues in check.
PRAYER: God, I know that you desire righteousness.  I confess that my temper and my tongue sometimes get the best of me.  I fly off the handle and say or post things that are not pleasing to you.  Help me this day to keep my temper and my tongue in check.  Help me to follow James’ wise teachings about being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  Bring about righteousness in my life.  Amen.

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