Summary: The tongue has the power to send people forward as much as it has the power to hold people back.

The power of the tongue that leads

James 3:2-12


Napolean… Martin Luther King Jr. / Hitler… George W. Bush / Parent or CEO…

Here is a comparison of the two types of supervisors the boss and the leader:

The boss drives his men; the leader coaches them. The boss depends upon authority; the leader on good will. The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. The boss says “I”; the leader, “we.” The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. The boss knows how it is done; the leader shows how. The boss says “Go”; the leader says “Let’s go!”

Every leader should pray: “Lord when I am wrong, make me willing to change; when I am right, make me easy to live with. So strengthen me that the power of my example will far exceed the authority of my rank.”

There is a responsibility to the listener as well as the speaker. As we continue to speak about that power of the tongue I want us to look at the remaining verses and understand the responsibility of the power of the tongue that leads.

I. The tongue is responsible for the whole vessel (v 2-4)

a) Controlling the tongue and directing it inward

(1) Verse 2 if you are able to control the tongue you are on your way to perfection and able to control “your whole body”… Actions.

(2) Think of the things that start with the spoken word or the tongue.

(a) Adultery starts with the tongue saying “I desire”.

(b) Murder starts with the tongue saying “I hate”.

(c) Coveting and stealing starts with the tongue saying “I want”.

(d) Disobedience starts with the tongue saying “I won’t”.

(e) Lying starts with the tongue saying “I didn’t”.

(3) If you want to lead the orchestra you have to turn your back on the crowd.

(a) That means going against what the world is telling you is OK…

b) Control the inside so we can affect who we direct outside

(1) Leading by example…

(a) Paul had to gain control of himself… 1 Cor. 9:26,27 (Beat or “Buffet to beat not buffet to eat”) Disqualified preachers… then after this…

(b) Phil 3:17…follow me? …Told Timothy 1 Tim 4:12 Youth / Example

(2) Encouraging other people… When there is control we can encourage

(a) Job 16:1-5 “…But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.”

II. The self-boasting tongue does not lead well(5)

a) Boasting of strengths

(1) “Speaking about self in a high manner” …Abilities… Accomplishments…

(2) The boastful tongue cares more about telling people they are leading than actually leading people

(3) A leader who has no followers is not leading he is just taking a walk

(4) Little muscle can tell big tales… boasts great things… Why? Attention…awe low self-esteem… hurt by those who never cared about what you did…

b) Boasting of weaknesses

(1) Paul boasted of his weaknesses, that’s all he had in comparison (2 Cor 11,12)

(2) Are you talking about that thorn…?

(3) What are you going to show off or brag about? In light of Christ…

(4) What have we accomplished that is greater than what Jesus has ever done

III. The untamed Tongue is poison that burns down a great work (6-12)

a) Burning people down…(Molly illustration… things I say)

i) Christ builds them and then… the world… Christians… tear ‘em down

ii) Verse 9 says… I have been made in the likeness of God…

iii) Continually being made (knit together) in his image, if he or she follows this is what they will do… Let no one curse my creation

iv) We’re not just saying bad things to them, but we are speaking curses… Greek definition: “aw-lay” making them an object of curses… not object of God’s desire

v) It speaks burning hell to people… cursing is what they will be doing there

vi) Even bad mouthing your husband or your wife to others… is poison

b) Burning God’s Work down

i) Phil 1:6 He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…

ii) Don’t burn it down…

iii) We use discouraging Words “…That’ll never work”

iv) “Didn’t work before”… “I don’t like it done this way”

v) While people are working hard for it others strive hard against it

vi) That’s why many pastors are to busy putting out fires all over rather than being able to build God’s church…

c) Burning Bridges

i) When I say burning bridges I mean bridges that God built in this place…

ii) People leave the church because unwise or harsh words used against them

iii) If I be one than I ask the Lord to forgive me…

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