Summary: This is the third sermon in the Extreme Makeover series. James teaches us how to T.A.M.E. the tongue.

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James 3:1-12

April 25, 2003


This morning we will be continuing our study of the book of James titled “Extreme Makeover.” We have already learned that if Jesus were to do an extreme makeover of our lives he would give us big ears so that we could hear His word. Next we saw that He would give us dirty hands as we learned to work out our faith.

Today we will be looking at a part of the body that is not often dealt with on makeover shows - the tongue. When the mouth is looked at on the TV program Extreme Makeover it is usually the teeth that are being made over. On last week’s program a young man from right here in Colorado Springs had some serious dental surgery - something like 6 root canals followed by lot of caps - in order to give him a more attractive smile. But once again we see that we are obsessed about all the wrong things. As nice as it is to have a good smile, that is only cosmetic. God is concerned about something much deeper. When Jesus turns his attention to our mouths it is our tongues that he is interested in. He is interested in how we use our tongue - our speech. If Jesus were to give you an Extreme Makeover this morning he would pierce your tongue. Not for the reasons that people pierce their tongues today. Not as a showcase for jewelry. He would pierce your tongue to bring it under control.

This is so important because James’ thesis is that if we can control our tongue then we can control our whole body - our whole life. The problem is that James goes on to say later that no man is capable of controlling or taming the tongue.

I read a story once about a little frog that wanted to go south for the winter. It was too far to hop and he did not have wings to fly. Two Little birds felt sorry for the little frog and together they came up with a plan. The little birds would hold each end of a stick in their beaks, and all the frog would have to do was to clamp down on the stick with his mouth and hold on.

The sky was clear and everything seemed hopeful for the little frog. Two farmers were standing in a field and saw the little birds carrying the frog and one said to the other, "That was a brilliant idea, I wonder who came up with the plan." The little frog couldn’t keep his mouth shut and He said, “I-I-I-I-I-I”. (Robert Travis/SermonCentral) All he had to was to keep his mouth shut. His life depended on it. But he could not do it. Have you ever felt like that?

A wise man once said, “I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.” If you have ever regretted your speech, then this makeover is for you. Will you let Jesus’ pierce your tongue and bring it under his control? If you are willing, then James will teach us how to TAME the tongue.

How to TAME the Tongue:

T - Take It Seriously.

Unfortunately, we have a tendency to not take our speech as seriously as we should. We say things like: “Oh, its just mere words.” Or the little rhyme: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” It is a cute poem, but it is bad theology. Our words do have real power and therefore, real consequences.

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