Summary: Taming our tongue is probably one of the hardest things we have to do. But thankfully it is not what we have to do by ourselves or in our own strength.

Taming the Tongue

James 1:26 James 3:1-12

Good Morning/ Taming your tongue could be one of the hardest things you do


Have you ever said something that you wish you could take back?

Have you ever realized that such a small muscle (3-4”) in your mouth could get you into so much trouble?

Have you ever been listening to someone and you thought- I wish that person would just be quiet! (In your head, the voice is not so refined) saying please…shut up!

You see what the common denominator is here, wither you are doing the talking or someone else is talking to you… they are words that you wish would go away.

Words you could take back

Words that would go away- stop talking!

The Bible has a lot to say about our words… I found over 100 Old and New Testament verses that deal with words we speak or about taming our tongue.

I can understand why the Lord was getting after the Pharisee’s in Matthew 12:35-36

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless (idol) word they have spoken.”

That ought to make you think before you speak

That will not be our best moments- Reflecting back on what was said and our attitude and behavior-

Thank God for Grace!


My report cards that I got as a kid from kindergarden to 8th grade all had comments in some respect that I was a good kid but I could not keep my mouth shut when I was supposed to be quiet.

All the parent/teacher conferences- talks out of turn and does not stay focus on what the class is doing.

We looked at several report cards because my mom saved them.

I can remember two different teachers during that period of time, they both handled me in different ways. Mrs. Harper would yell at me, be red in the face and short fused. Kind of like the parent that continuously is yelling at their kids and wondering as they get older, why they are yelling back.

Mrs. Hanlon would grab my face (which they cannot do now and tap me, look me right in the eyes and say you have got to pay attention. This is for your benefit. Defuse the situation. Which one do you think was my favorite teacher?

Mrs. Harper set a fire in me and Mrs. Hanlon put a bite in my mouth- more as we get into the text.

Mom just knew that her oldest kid would be a preacher or a lawyer when I grew up.

I wanted to be a baseball player.

Just because I am a preacher paid to teach and speak does not mean that I always learned the lesson of when to be quiet and when to speak.

I still have to get a grip on that tongue before I speak.


Father, this morning I ask that you would speak to each of us concerning the power we have in our words. One that can lift up a person or words that can destroy. May we choose today that we desire our words to lift up and be a blessing and have us realize that words are to be carefully said and applied in our lives. In Jesus Name! Amen!

Please turn to the book of James chapter 1:19 for a moment and then our text is James chapter 3.

James 1:19

“My dear brothers, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

Those moments that we didn’t think and blurted out horrible things that we wish we could take back-

Instead of doing some listening, we are the ones talking and being angry.

Nobody listening and everyone talking- is a dangerous conversation that nobody wins. The back and forth comments and the next thing you know things were said that we didn’t mean or least we did not want to say.

(26) “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”

You want to wreck a good thing- a ministry, a relationship- just go ahead and let your mouth get in front of your thinking and you will wreck a good thing and it will become worthless!

Passion version

“My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart; be quick to listen, but slow to speak. And be slow to become angry, for human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose.”

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