How important is what we say to people? We noted several weeks ago that, Relationships are only as good as how we communicate! Not only are the actual words we say are important, how we say it can really make a difference right? Especially in the Filipino language; we need to be careful when we say “mahal” in comparison to “mahal??” In the English language we can say “bye….” or “bye!”
Relationships are only as good as how we communicate! It is really important that we think before we speak, right? Why is it that we don’t think before we speak and our relationships suffer?
How about this scenario: a guy tailgates you, then he passes you and gives you the finger, he does this to a number of cars, then you all catch up with him at a red stop light, everyone rolls down their window and tells the guy….. The guy deserved it, but I felt bad after a while for letting him get to me.
God through James emphasizes on caring about what we say!
Before reading our passage let us together pray our commitment to God’s Word…
Open your Bibles to the Letter by James….
Read along with me James 3:1-12….
Again, the main focus of the message today is being careful of what we say. But in the very beginning in v1-2: James preaches to himself! James understood that he was answerable to God in what he taught and warns other teachers. Why are teachers judged more strictly??
Teachers will impact those they are teaching who will impact others with what they learn! The impact of what teachers say can be exponential! Are you a teacher? Fantastic!! But let us always keep in mind that many lives can be impacted by what we say! We are to teach with agape love (thinking of the betterment of those who are listening)!
Let us note: Unless you live in a cave, we are all teachers! There will always be someone watching and listening to us!
And God gives us examples in v3-5: of how much our talking can impact others
- a powerful horse can be moved by a little bit in it’s mouth
- a small rudder can turn a big ship
- a spark can blaze a forest fire
In a similar way,
v5: our tongues as it speaks can ruin another person’s life!
And v7-8 tells us a problem: even though the tongue can cause great damage, no one can tame it!
And again, we need to note that this letter was written to Christians. And God states in v9-12, just because it’s hard and everyone is doing it, a loose tongue does not belong to a child of God!
God is good!...... All the time!!.....
God is always holy and good and Christians should be too!
But God tells us that even Christians cannot tame their tongues!
Houston, Christians have a problem! We could do what they did in Apollo 13 and just use duct tape for our mouths; but that would not be practical would it when Christians are called to speak out the love of God?
What’s the real solution? God tells us the real solution to man’s problem!
First of all, James alluded to finding a solution in the beginning of Chapter 3; the first thing to do to solve a problem is to accept the truth that you have a problem! You can hide things under a rug but sooner or later there will be a mound on that rug with junk piling up!
1. Admit that you have a problem of wrongly speaking without thinking! Do we admit personally that our tongues can easily be evil?
Secondly, God through the Apostle tells us in Romans7:21-25….
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
And so, a big solution to people’s problem of foul speech?
2. Trust and depend on God’s solution of love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ! Is your heart burdened or have you trusted Jesus Christ to relieve you of that guilt and shame caused by sins?
And God knows that even if we trust and believe in Jesus Christ, we still have to deal with our sinful weaknesses. What has God given Christians to combat their weaknesses??
Romans 8:9b…. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
Ephesians 1:13… And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.
The Christian has the solution for their weaknesses because they have the Holy Spirit who according to Galatians 5:22-23…. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
And so, what must Christians do to combat weaknesses especially our tongue?
3. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit with unconfessed sins!
And so, before we worship with our Offerings, let us all quietly pray to God about these things:
Do I admit that many times what comes out of my mouth is negative and sometimes even foul!
Do I truly believe and accept Jesus Christ as my only Savior and Lord?
Do I have unconfessed sins I need to give to God for forgiveness?