Summary: In James Chapter Three, we learn about the power of our words and we are challenged to learn to tame our tongue.
JOURNEY THROUGH JAMES #5: TAMING THE TONGUE
INTRO TO TOPIC: Talk about taming the tongue and the power of words.
• Echoes Proverbs: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Prov. 18:21, NKJV).
THE BIG IDEA: In James Chapter Three, we learn about the power of our words and we are challenged to learn to tame our tongue.
I. A WARNING TO TEACHERS:
“1 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged by God with greater strictness. 2 We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way.” (James 3:1-2, NLT).
• Teachers and pastors will make mistakes, and God will hold us accountable for that.
• Teachers will be judged greater – by God and by people. Teachers are imperfect!
• I repent for not being more open and honest about my sins, mistakes and weaknesses.
• Don’t follow a teacher, follow Jesus. Jesus will never let you down or disappoint you.
• “We all make many mistakes” I’m thankful for that verse! Even pastors make mistakes.
• So the next time you want to judge someone else, remember that you make mistakes too.
• If we extend grace and forgiveness to others, then that’s what we’ll receive.
• Look at King David (adultery & murder) and Peter (denied Jesus).
• Only Jesus never sinned – with His words or actions. He’s our example!
II. TAMING THE TONGUE:
“3 We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 7 People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:3-8).
• Fire story – talk about starting fires up in northern BC to burn fields.
• Once a fire starts, it’s hard to stop it. Wildfire = uncontrollable. Gossip, slander, etc.
• With our words, we can unleash the fire of hell on people. Have you experienced that?
• “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21, NKJV).
III. THE CHALLENGE:
“9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Can you pick olives from a fig tree or figs from a grapevine? No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty pool.” (James 3:9-12).