Summary: Taming the tongue and keeping your temper are characters of the Spirit of God working in our lives. We cannot do these things without the Lord's help.
The power of your words
James chapter 3:1-12
Did you know that there is power in your words?
We have all been hurt by other people’s words.
Words are used to lift us up and to tear us down.
Making eye contact with someone-
Good morning or What!
How are you? Or eyes and words saying I don’t care.
Inside the power of words is also the tone of a word. That is where it gets complicated, if the tone is taken wrong, it can change the whole meaning of the word and sentence and how it was intended.
While social media has a lot of advantages, one disadvantage is that we cannot see a person’s face when they write on Facebook, or send an email.
I want to take a few minutes to see what God says about our words and how important a part they play in our lives.
Jesus Himself gives us direction about the importance of words we use to each other and that our words usually come from the condition of our heart.
We will see that you cannot separate words and heart. They are very closely related and even if the words are right, the attitude may not be which makes our words of less value.
Words are important to Jesus-
Taking into context the text, Jesus is dealing with the Pharisees and interacting with religious people.
Jesus was not impressed with religious people. (people who talked a good game)
Religious people who have graded themselves based on their self made virtue of not being as bad as someone else.
Jesus is not interested in merely altering behavior. He does not want people to simply say and do the right things.
He wants to create new hearts, with good deeds coming from a heart change.
The Scribes and Pharisees spoke terrible words about Jesus. They called the Son of Man an “ally of the devil”.
Jesus shows two observations
(1)- The state of our hearts can be seen through the words that we speak.
(2)- Each one of us will give an account to God of every idle (empty) word that we speak.
Considering the state of our heart, listen to this quote-
“A man’s character can be known from his words. That which is in the heart can come to the surface only through our lips; we can produce through our lips only what we have in our hearts. There is nothing so revealing as words. We do not need to talk to people long before we discover whether they have wholesome or dirty minds; we do not need to listen to them long before we discover whether they are kind or cruel; we do not need to listen for long to someone who is preaching or teaching or lecturing to find out whether that persons mind is clear or whether it is muddled. We are continually revealing who we are by what we say.”
About our idle or empty words-
In the right Greek context, idle words do not produce anything productive. Idle words have no value.
Idle people do nothing of value, they waste their time.
Idle words have no value.
Idle words are words that we speak without thinking, and the only way that we can control our words is to be thinking before we speak them.
“The carefully spoken words may be calculated hypocrisy. When we are consciously on our guard, we will be careful what we say and how we say it; but when we are off guard, our words reveal our character. It is quite possible for a person’s public utterances to be fine and noble, and the private conversation of that person to be coarse and obscene. In public, words are carefully chosen, in private, the guard is down, and any word leaves the gateway of that person’s lips. It is so with anger; we will say in anger what we really think and what we have often wanted to say, but which the cool control of prudence has kept us from saying.
Many people are models of charm and courtesy in public, when they know they are being watched and they chose their words carefully. In their own homes they are irritable, sarcastic, quick tempered, critical, because the public will not see it.
These words are the most dangerous.
Anger makes us say words that we would have never said had we had control of our words.
You can never take back words that have been said.
You can say you are sorry, but they cannot be taken back. Hopefully, they can be forgiven.
Listen what James says about the tongue
James gives us some warnings-
He says that those who purposefully turn people away from the truth of God and lead them astray will answer for their idle and unproductive words.