Summary: Advice from a friend . . . it can be extremely helpful and life changing if listened to and applied. Jim has a lot to teach us. Let’s listen and learn.
According to Jim
Practical advice for practical living! Wisdom that we often fail to apply or live out and therefore we pay the price. Let’s listen and learn!
1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
(1-2Don't be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you'd have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.)
A. According to Jim position envy is misguided.
A common thing I see in the body is that many folks get position envy. They think they know more and can do things better so they work or manipulate to get leadership or control (even though we are clearly told that our gift makes room for us). What we fail to realize or consider is that with leadership, according to Jim, comes higher and stricter standards. Leaders are expected to live and behave differently. You should go read all of the requirements for leaders found in Paul’s writings to Timothy and Titus. Some want control, but are unwilling to live up to the standards. Don’t complain about the standards if you want or have accepted leadership. It is part of the package. It is part of the deal. You should expect your leaders to live at higher standard and then at the same time you have to remember the lesson from Jim 2 . . . Judge, but judge with mercy.
B. According to Jim even YOUR pastor will blow it.
I didn’t need Jim to tell me that! So mercy is needed. This realization will end roast pastor or tearing down of leaders. The real truth is that we all teach someone and we all need mercy. We will all misspeak at some point. This is true regardless of what church/organization you participate in. It has already happened in here. Communication is comprised of what someone actually says and what someone hears and those two don’t always match up. I make every attempt to make sure that I choose my words carefully and correctly, but at some point you will hear something through your own translation filter and it will offend you. Hear me carefully. . . I don’t mind offend your sin or your comfort zone, in fact I intend to do just that, but I do not want to offend you in a way that will break relationship. So according to Jim guess whose responsibility it is to offer grace and mercy . . . believe the best?
3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise 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. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
(A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke . . .)
C. According to Jim we were lied to on the playground!
We were taught that, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me!” Jim tells us the truth. Words are one of the most powerful forces on the planet. We actually shape, frame, and yes if even destroy, tear down, and deconstruct things every time we open our mouths. We must guard our tongue and what we say. It is our responsibility to stop and consider the pain or the pleasure that our words create. We must become mouth managers! Hear the weight of this statement . . you can ruin the world, disrupt harmony, and destroy a reputation. That should cause us to pause and to choose our words with supreme care! Because remember our harmony and our reputation is impacted by what others are saying. As Americans we enjoy freedom of speech. However, as Christians we do not share that same freedom. Our Christianity trumps and overrules our American rights! We don’t have the freedom to say whatever is on our mouth! We must have a filter! We must count the cost! You have heard of a dramatic pause? I am praying that we learn a holy hesitation! Think before we speak. Your lips hold back death or release life!