Summary: The words we say have a huge impact on people around us.
James 3:1–12 1Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
3We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
7People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
I. Words can direct us and others: v 2–4
A. If you control the tongue, you can control your LIFE! v 2
1. Like a bit in a house’s mouth v 3
2. Like a rudder of a ship v 4
B. Your tongue can instruct others.
1. Use teachable moments with your children.
2. Use teachable moments with others.
II. Words can destroy us AND . . .
A. Our words can be devastating to others. v 6
B. Once words have escaped your mouth, you cannot get them back.
James 1:19 says that we are to be quick to hear, slow to speak
and slow to anger.
C. Steps to avoid GOSSIP. v 5–6
1. Is it true?
2. Is it necessary?
3. Is it beneficial?
4. Do I have permission to share it?
5. Is my motive pure?
If you can’t answer YES to all five questions, DON’T share.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
Job 19:2 How long will you torment me and crush me with words.
Ephesians 4:29–30 Let no corrupt (unwholesome) communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying (building up) that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
III. Our words display our hearts v 7–12
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
A. What’s in the well will come out in the water v 11
B. What’s in the tree will come out in the fruit v 12
C. What is in your life will come out of your Mouth.
IV. Our words can delight others v 9–10
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in baskets of silver. In other words, a good word spoken at the right time is better than golden apples in a silver basket.