Summary: The ability to speak is a wonderful thing, But how we use that ability can often make a tremendous difference in both our own life and the lives of others.

I don’t know how many of you have heard about this this week

• Don Imus made a comment that has stirred up the media, and everyone from Hillary Clinton to Oprah Winfrey .

• What was happening was the Rutgers women’s basketball team had just lost the NCAA championship game.

• And Imus was saying how ugly the girls on this team were

• I think they were playing Kentucy and He said how good looking their girls were

• But he made the comment that the Rutgers women’s basketball team were"nappy-headed hos"

• Imus, 66, had a long history of inflammatory remarks.

• But something struck a raw nerve when he targeted the Rutgers team - which includes a class valedictorian, a future lawyer and a musical prodigy

• Imus was initially suspended for two weeks

• But outrage kept growing and advertisers kept droping their accounts

• From his CBS radio show and its MSNBC simulcast, which was canceled Wednesday.

• Even though He issued repeated apologies as protests intensified it wasn’t enough

• Imus, who was once named one of the 25 Most Influential People in America by Time magazine

• Imus who was a member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame,

• Was fired Thursday by CBS

• A stunning end for one of the nation’s most prominent broadcasters.

James 3:1-12 - “Bite Your Tongue”How our speech can get us in trouble and Why

The ability to speak is a wonderful thing,

• But how we use that ability can often make a tremendous difference in both our own life and the lives of others.

• Everywhere we turn in life there are voices.

• Some are voices of encouragement, some are voices of destruction

• Some are words of love and compassion,

• Some are words of hate.

• Words are a powerful force

• And the influence that our words Shows us

• Is that we need to be careful with what we say and how we say it.

Read James 3:1-12

The Words we use reveal what is really in our heart.

• Words are a perfect indicator of our true character.

• The words we speak, the things we talk about, and the manner in which we say them

• Show what kind of person we are to everyone around us

• When you think of it this way,

• What we say and how we say it are incredibly important.

Our problem is that we don’t always control our words.

• Our manner of speech often comes back to haunt us.

• How many times do we show symptoms of “hoof and mouth disease”?

• I can’t tell you how many times that I have opened my mount and inserted my foot,

• And I know as soon as I do it I shouldn’t have

• And I also know that most of you have done the same thing.

After reading these verses one idea jumps out at me.

• Verse 2. States the obvious

• That everybody stumbles. We all make mistakes.

• The Christian life isn’t about not falling down anymore,

• It is about understanding that there is a reason to get back up.

• Notice James doesn’t point a finger at the offenders without including himself:

• We all stumble in many ways.

• Nothing seems to trip a believer more than a dangling tongue.

• If a believer is never at fault in what he says then he’s perfect,

• He is fulfilled, He’s matured, He’s a complete person

• He is able to “bridle” his whole body.

• Spiritual maturity requires a tamed tongue.

The tongue may be small but it is influential.

• Three illustrations James uses make this point clear

• The bit and the horse, / the rudder and the ship, / and the spark and the forest.

• The argument is clear.

• With the first two / the bit and the rudder /

• Both must be under the control of a strong hand.

• The expert horseman keeps the power of the steed under control,

• And the experienced pilot steers the ship through the storm.

After looking at these 2 James

• Now compares the tongue to a spark which can set a forest on fire.

• James is not speaking of the tongue as a source of language.

• He is thinking of the tongue as something corrupted by the fall.

• Many, if not all, sins begin with a word.

• It may be spoken outwardly or silently ‘spoken’within

We also see that the tongue is hard to tame.

• James compares the ability to tame animals with the inability to tame the tongue.

• We can master wild beasts Lions, Tigers, Bears (O My)

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