Summary: A look at the power of the tongue and the need we have for the Holy Spirit to have full reign in our lives and over our tongue! controling our tongue and holiness go hand in hand!
It seems that one day a kindergarten teacher was helping one of her students put on his cowboy boots? (I think this is from Alberta)
He asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. Finally, when the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried when the little boy said, "Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet." She looked down and sure enough, they were.
It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. But she managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on - this time on the right feet. And it was only then that he announced, "These aren’t my boots."
She bit her tongue rather than scream, "Why didn’t you say so?" like she wanted to. And, once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they got the boots off then he said, "They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear ’em today."
Stifling a scream, she mustered up the grace and courage she to wrestle the ill-fitting boots on his feet again. Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?"
To which he replied, "I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots." The article ends by saying - Her trial starts next month.
Well this is probably just a story, but you all know it can be true. There are those moments where you just have to hold your tongue. Right? Well just a few weeks ago, earlier in our series from the book of James, we looked at the tongue. So I was left with the dilemma: do I preach on the tongue again or jump over.
Well lucky us, I think we can look at the tongue again and see it maybe in a new light. Today I want to look at the tongue and make a bold statement: Holiness and the tongue go hand in hand. Well let’s read our passage this morning from the Message. James 3:1-12:
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.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or 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.
5 Likewise, 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. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
I. Warning to those who teach (vs. 1-2)
Well, let’s just jump right in, I think for many people that preach or teach the Word of God, the first verse can be kind of sobering. Why would anyone want to sign up if they are going to be judged more harshly?
In the time of the apostles and Paul’s missionary journeys the teachers had a very important role.
The apostles, like Paul and Barnabas traveled on missionary journeys from place to place and town to town. They would come to a place and preach, encourage and then move on to the next place.
The teachers were considered in equal esteem, but unlike the apostles they were with the people. They did not move on. Basically, once the apostles arrived and people got saved, then the new converts were turned over to the teachers to disciple them. The spiritual growth was the responsibility of the teacher.