Summary: The power that lies in our tongue. it could destroy or build lives


Text: James 3:1-12


Ano Ang pinakamabigat na tinapay? Hopia! Ano ang isa sa pinakamakamandag na hayop? (ILL. Most Potent Venom – A scientist has found out that poison from the skin of a tiny South American tree frog is far more toxic than any other known venom. The poison dart frog, also poison arrow frog, The frogs are widely called poison arrow frogs or poison dart frogs, reflecting the widespread notion that the frogs are used by South American tribes in the manufacture of poison that is spread on arrows or blow-gun darts. Dart frogs are not poisonous in captivity. Scientists believe that this is due to the fact that they do not receive alkaloids as food because they are fed with cultured insects. These frogs are some of the world’s most poisonous living organisms; one drop of poison could be powerful enough to kill 80 people. Rain forest Indians use the venom from the skin of the kokoi frog to poison their blowgun arrows. )

But there is a poison even more deadly than this - the poison from an evil tongue. "The tongue is a fire, a word of iniquity." "With their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness" (James 3:6); Romans 3:13-14, “Their words are like an open pit, and their tongues are good only for telling lies. Each word is as deadly as the fangs of a snake, and they say nothing but bitter curses”.

Let’s open our Bible in James 3:1-12. We’ll be talking today about a small part of our body but powerful enough to build or to destroy. (Read James 3:1-12). Let’s pray first.

James started this part of his letter by reminding those who teach and those who wants to become teacher. When we say teacher here this includes pastors, church leaders, missionaries, preachers of the Word of God or anyone who gives instruction to someone, to a group, or a congregation. And here James wants us to understand that no one has a more solemn responsibility than those who teach the Word of God. In the future judgment, Christian teachers will be judge more strictly than other believers. And here in v. 2 James tries to tell us that all of us including him also make a mistake James 2:10. That is why whenever a pastor speaks and we think that he is talking about us, no! Its not, because even us before we teach or preach we are the first one being convicted by the truth from God’s Word. The right thing to do is to listen to His Word and change if there is something in us that we need to change. Now after James make this point then he relate this thing to one part of our body that we always use when it comes to teaching, to preaching, to sharing, it’s our TONGUE! (ILL. Tongue Control – Once a young man came to that great philosopher Socrates to be instructed in oratory. The moment the young man was introduced he began to talk, and there was an incessant stream for some time. When Socrates could get in a word, he said, "Young man, I will have to charge you a double fee." "A double fee, why is that?" The old sage replied, "I will have to teach you two lessons. First, how to hold your tongue, and then how to use it." What an art for all of us to learn, especially for Christians.)

And this morning not Socrates but James from God’s Word will teach us these lessons about our tongue. And we can see from this following verse how James explains the power of our tongue in spite of its smallness. I would like to point out two comparisons that James use on what our tongue can do. Our tongue can:

1. BUILDS OR CRUSH (vv. 3-6)

Our tongue, I believe is not just created in us without a purpose, and that is to build someone, a family, a nation but it can also cause a grave damage. It is also true with some of our tools, for example a hammer was made to use to build, isn’t it? (ILL. Doesn’t mean that you are holding a hammer you can already build a house, you can also use it to tear down and to destroy a house if you don’t know how to use it and don’t know how to control it.)

It is said that our tongue is the strongest part of our body maybe because our tongue is all muscle, though it’s smalll but it is powerful, but most probably because of what a tongue can do, that is why it is called the strongest part of the body. It has power to either build or destroy! Our tongue can build or destroy life, family, church, and nation! James compares tongue to very familiar things to us; one he compares it to bits (bokado o siya) of a horse and to a rudder (timon) of a ship, a spark of fire and a deadly poison Are you a Christian, able to control your tongue? If so, you are a mature Christian. "For in many things we offend all. If any man offends not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body" (James 3:2).) The illustration that James used here; Bits in horse, Rudder in Ship, Spark of Fire and Deadly Poison. All these pictures can either:

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