Summary: The tongue has been given the title strongest muscle in the Body! Why then don’t we have the "strength" to control it?
Taming The Tongue
The tongue of the human body is a very specialized organ. It is used for two distinct purposes. One is for eating. In eating the tongue is used in tasting as well as (did you know digestion). In digestion the tongue crushes food against the mouth, and also moves the food along so that the teeth can grind the food down and also helps the food along the pathway of you throat to you stomach.
There are some folks that say the Human adult tongue is specialized for speaking. The way that it is designed allows for the tongue to help in saying all of the various vowels, consonants, and other sounds that help us to communicate regardless of what language we speak. Some have even given the tongue, the great title of The strongest muscle in the Body.
How interesting it is that the strongest muscle in the Body is also the Hardest one to Tame.
In James chapter 3 we see through the eyes of the Pastor of Jerusalem some advice given by the word of God the wisdom in controlling the tongue.
James has just completed his talk about faith and works. Some say this is an abrupt change of course. But as teachers in Chapter 1 our words affect the faith of others, and our words can harm or destroy. Lets look at how James explained the strength of the tongue.
This 3rd chapter of the Epistle of James or letter of James seems in verse 1 to be directed to those who desire to become teachers in the Church of Jesus. I believe that not only teachers but all God’s people can gain wisdom, insight, and grow in the Lord by understanding what James was trying to say to the people of his day.
I. Tongue Tactics—The Tongue direction.
A) It takes a perfect person to tame the tongue. (James 1.2)
1) What are Christians found of saying.
“I’m not perfect just forgiven.” (found on cars as bumper stickers)
2) There is only one Good and perfect person that ever walked the earth—Jesus Christ.
3) James shows or reminds us about stumbling.
Romans 3.23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”
Verse 2 we all stumble in many ways.
a) We are told if we could only bridle our tongue (like a horse) we could control the whole body.
1) No more chocolate attacks
2) No more need for drugs
3) No more lusting
4) No more caffine chaos
If we could only stop stumbling, inserting foot in mouth.
B) 3 Great Illustrations. On the power of small things.
1) James 3.3 -- Bits in Horses mouths.
a) With something as small as a round piece of metal the very direction of the horse can be changed. (With only a gentle tug)
b) The bit affects the entire body not just the mouth.
2) James 3.4 – Ships and their rudders.
a) Large vessel moved directed by a small piece of wood
1) Tongue shapped rudder moves the boat
2) Big Strong powerful, but controlled by a small stick
A 300 lb man can be brought to his knees by a master martial artist.
Why are these illustrations so important?
-- They show that small almost insignificant things can change the direction or course of much larger things. A small but powerful force can often change the tide of battle.
C) How can control over our Tongues help our bodies.
1) James 3.5
a) The body like a horse and a Ship can be directed by something seemingly insignificant.
b) I already said the tongue is Highly specialized.
a) For speech
b) For digestion.
2) But also it has power. Jas 3.5
Proverbs 18.21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
The meaning of this proverb may be gleaned from Proverbs 13.3
“The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;
the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
Speak life not death
Power to spark feuds, arguments, divisions, strife, pain, anguish, etc. . .
-- As the proverbs, which James has a big foundation, show the import of wisdom, it can be taken from these that, The ability to bridle or control or reign in ones tongue is one of the clearest or most illustrative (illustrations) marks of wisdom.
The fruit of guarding would be life.
The fruit of using it unwisely or harmfully death.
Be one who heals not one who harms.
Don’t let the tongue wag the person have the person wag the tongue.
Transition: Where there are tactics there is often present war. The tactics of the tongue or direction can often lead to Tongue Armageddon.
II. Tongue Armageddon – destruction comes easily from the tongue.