Summary: In this message we are going to talk about the tongue and how to tame it with God's help.
Taming The Untamable
We are in this series on the book of James called, ‘Making It (making our faith) Real…’
A 2000 year old letter written by the breath of God and the pen of James the half brother of Jesus.
A LETTER - to encourage Jesus-followers in the first century and the 21st century to stay strong and to not give into the comforts and ways and wisdom of the world…
to demonstrate real faith…
to live as a firstfruits people…
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created… - James 1:18
REMEMBER… it is God’s intent that our lives become
• A portrait of how life should and could be lived
• A preview of where God is ultimately taking all of creation when His Son splits the sky and returns…
GOD – has called us to live our lives as a firstfruits people who are ‘making it real’ BY…
• grounding and fueling our faith in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Brothers and sisters – Jesus is alive and the Gospel message is true)
• Turning our trials into triumphs
• Defeating sin and temptation
• Being doers and not simply hearers of the word
• Reigning in our tongues
• Looking after the widow, the orphan and the less fortunate
• Updating our favorites list (and welcoming all no matter who they are, where they’ve been, what they look like or struggle with) to come and sit with us at the feet of Jesus
• Combining our faith with works (which it is the original and ultimate ‘dynamic duo’ that – saves, does good, makes sacrifices, takes risks, is alive and honors God and changes the world)…
AND THIS MORNING…
James is going to talk to us about how firstfruits people
HOW – real faith ‘tames the untamable’
YES – today we are going to talk about the tongue, about the words that come out of our mouths… and in the age of social media, also the words that come out of our thumbs…
The tongue remains hidden for the most part, but when it does make its presence known it has devastating power.
• The tongue can express or repress;
• release or restrain;
• enlighten or obscure;
• adore or abhor;
• offend or befriend;
• affirm or alienate;
• build or belittle;
• comfort or criticize;
• delight or destroy;
• be sincere or sinister.
• The tongue can Xerox the good or X-ray the bad.
YEAH - we love to talk, don’t we?
Everybody seems to have something to say.
Statistics say that the average person; not the overly talkative, on or the super-shy one… but that they average person spends 1/5 of their life talking.
IF - all of our words were put into print, the result would be this…
A single day’s words would fill a 50 page book.
In a years, time the average person would fill 132 books of 200 pages each.
AND THAT’S - that's a lot of opportunity to screw up and make mistakes…
SO – it really should not surprise us that the Word of God and God's invitation into life as he designed us to life… would have some things to say about how we use a fifth of our lives, right?
NO - it shouldn't be surprising that God has some thoughts, has a design for how we use those words.
AND JAMES – has already shared some of those thoughts…
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. – James 1:19
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless… - James 1:26
NOW - I think it is important as we begin for all of to just put it all out on the table…
QUESTION - have you ever…
• misused your tongue?
• said things to someone that hurt them rather than helped them?
• Said something to someone and your intent was to do just that? (You did it on purpose. You knew if you said it, it was going to hurt. You knew if you said it, it was going to crush them, and you wanted to crush them, and so you said it).
• Used your tongue to gossip about someone?
I like Rick Warren definition of gossip – “When we are talking about a situation with somebody who is neither part of the problem or part of the solution, then we are probably gossiping…”