Summary: Words are powerful. Yet many of us, do not understand their power, or how to use them correctly.
Hey everyone. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s today. Hopefully, you have made a call or done something today to honor the women in your life. At the end of the service on the way out we have something we want to give to all the women here today. Whether you are a mom or not. So if you are a woman, and you know who you are, we have something at the doors on the way out.
This morning, we are continuing our series on the book of James, and today we are going to look at a well known passage which deals with the tongue. I was asked by a couple this week, are we talking about the tongue because it is Mother’s day? Before I could answer, the man said, “Well women do talk more than men.” And then he looked at me and said, “Right.” Now I am smarter than that. If he wants to build his own coffin, I’m not giving him any nails. But the answer is no, we aren’t talking about the tongue today because it is mother’s day, we are going through James and it just fell on this day.
Why don’t we pray as we move on this morning.
• Thanks for moms
• Pray for them as moms
• Those who have lost a mom (1st mother’s day without her)
Think back to when you were growing up, you are on a long trip and what game do your parents tell you to play? One of the games might be the quiet game. The game goes like this, in case you had a deprived childhood and don’t know about this cool game with no prizes and lame rules. You sit in silence, and the last person to talk wins. This is one of those things that I didn’t understand the greatness of until being a parent. Growing up I thought, why is it cool to sit here and not say anything?
But there is some truth and good things that can come from being silent as we will see today.
Henri Nouwen, in his book The Way of the Heart writes, "Recently I was driving through Los Angeles, and suddenly had the strange sensation of driving through a huge dictionary. Wherever I looked there were words trying to take my eyes from the road. They said, ‘Use me, take me, buy me, drink me, smell me, touch me, kiss me, sleep with me.’ In such a world who can maintain respect for words?"
Many of us know the power of words that are spoken to us, but often we don’t realize the power of our words spoken to others. Words are powerful, they can harm, they can build up. As a child when you are insulted we would say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but what? But words will never hurt me.” That is a nice slogan, but words kill, words can break us. Words can stick with us, good or bad, for years.
I can still remember when I played soccer in my first college soccer game and my dad drove 5 hours to see me play. He had seen me play hundreds of games, but he wanted to be there for my first college game, even though I didn’t start. After the game, I remember standing on the field and my dad saying, “I’m so proud of you.” Words are powerful.
Our daughter Ava is almost 2, and one of the things I am learning about women through her and my wife is that they love to hear that they are beautiful. Even now, Ava will stand there and wait for me to admire her in an outfit and tell her that she is beautiful. Many of us, especially men forget the power of words. Today is a good day to be reminded.
I remember one of my mentors saying to me on many occasions, it would cost me a fortune to pay someone what my wife does. He went on, always tell her. Even if you don’t have kids, tell your wife, your significant other, your mom, tell them how much you appreciate them.
Let’s dive in. If you have your bibles, you can open them to James chapter 3. To bring everyone up to speed, James is a letter written to Christians who were not acting like Christians.
Last week we looked at the discussion involving how to live out your faith. James says in chapter 2 that we need to have more than just faith, we need to live it out. That our actions show the change that has happened within us. Then he moves into this discussion on how we use our words.
Chapter 3 is not the first time that James brings up the tongue. Look at James 1:26 where he says: 26If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.