Summary: A message on the problems we have with our tongue.


James 3:1-2

INTRO: If this message is preached on Sunday night, announce that morning that you are going to expose the greatest troublemaker in the church that night.

Probably the greatest offender of our body is the tongue. The tongue gets us into more trouble than anything else we do. The Bible has a good deal to say abut the tongue, and what we should do to control our tongues. Today, we want to see what James, the brother of Jesus had to say about the tongue.


A. This does not forbid directing and instructing fellow


1. We are not to judge others by our own standards.

2. Our judging of others will make our own judgment by God

more severe.

B. We all are sinners and therefore we cannot set ourselves up as

judges of others.

1. Were we to think about our own faults, we wouldn’t find time

to judge others.

2. While we criticize others for things we find offensive, we do

not consider how we may be offensive to them.

3. Self-justifiers are commonly self-deceivers.

4. We need to learn how to be severe in self-judgment and charita

ble in judgment of others.

ILLUS: A godly minister was approached by one of his church members who

wanted to repeat to him some of the wrong-doings of others. The pastor said,

"Does anybody else know this but you?" "No sir." Have you told it to any

one else?" "No." "Then," said the pastor, "go home and hide it away at the feet of Jesus, and never speak of it again unless God leads you to speak to the man himself. If the Lord wants to bring scandal upon His Church, let HIM do it; but don’t you be the instrument to cause it."


A. The man who is aware of his tongue avoids it’s sins, and is

just as upright.

1. The Christian who offends not, is a sincere and mature Chris-


2. The wisdom and grace which enables him to rule his tongue

also enables him to rule the rest of his body.

B. The governing and guiding of a horse.

1. The bit makes him respond to our commands.

2. We need to bridle our tongues the same way.

C. The governing of a ship by the rudder.

1. As this small part controls the ship so it is with the tongue.

2. A good helmsman at the helm can guide the ship safely through

all conditions of bad weather.

ILLUS: Jane Parsons was a good woman who was anxious to be at peace with

all, and particularly wished to be on good terms with those who lived near her.

But one of her neighbors was a gossiper that she frequently called on Jane with the latest gossip. Jane discussed this matter with her pastor who gave her a solution.

He said: "Keep your family Bible on the table, and when she has been in the house long enough, ask her to read a chapter or a Psalm and pray with

you." Jane followed this advice the next time her neighbor came to gossip. She said, "Agnes, you are a good scholar. I wish you would read a chapter or Psalm and pray with me. It might do us both good." Agnes excused herself on the ground that she was very busy. She would gladly do so another time.

Need I say Jane never had another problem with Agnes coming to her again with gossip?


A. It is compared to a little fire that consumes a large amount.

B. Hell has a lot to do to control the tongue.

C. It is difficult to control the tongue.

D. We are to use our tongues everyday to same way we use them in


ILLUS: Justin Martyr once said, "By examining the tongue of a patient,

physicians find out the disease of the body, and philosophies of the mind."

The directions that come with a well-known brand of fountain pen say, "When this pen runs too freely it is a sign that it is nearly empty." Is there an application here for us when our tongues get to running too freely?

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