Summary: This message deals with: I. The Benefits Of The Tongue, II. The Brutality Of The Tongue, and III. The Bridling Of The Tongue.

The Task Of Taming The Tongue

Copyright © March 1994 by Rev. Donnie L. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Text: James 3:1-12


A. The Tongue Can Bless.

B. The Tongue Can Build.

C. The Tongue Can Broadcast.


A. Words Can Make The Heart Bleed.

B. Words Can Cause Division Among Brethren.

C. Words Can Give An Emotional Burn.


A. We Must Purpose To Bring The Tongue Into Harness.

B. We Must Pray For God’s Help.

C. We Must Program Our Heart.

Intro: James paints a rather ugly picture concerning the problem with man’s tongue. But as dreadful and disturbing as that picture may be, it is undeniably accurate. This relatively little organ in our mouth has broken more hearts, started more battles, and wrought more destruction in this world than one could possibly enumerate.

Physically, the tongue is rooted in the mouth of the human body, although some would swear that there are some people whose tongues wag at both ends. In a practical and spiritual sense however, the tongue is rooted in man’s heart; for Jesus said, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34b—KJV). In simpler terms: “What’s in our heart ends up on our tongue, sooner or later.”1

If our heart is filled with love, it will be evident in what rolls off our tongue. If our heart is overwhelmed with grief, the tone of our words will usually give it away. If our heart is consumed with jealousy, hatred and bitterness, one may be sure that the tongue will betray these traits. The people who think their real feelings are cleverly hidden, may actually only be fooling themselves. It is rare that a person can completely cover what consumes and controls their heart.

To further emphasize the problem of the tongue, James spoke of the fact that almost every kind of beast of the earth had been brought under man’s control, and yet man, with all his knowledge, has not learned to control his tongue. James put it this way: “But the tongue can no man tame…” (James 3:8a—KJV). This statement wasn’t meant to leave us with a sense of hopelessness, but rather to reveal to us our need for divine dependence in controlling this unruly member of our body.

Today, as we look at both the good and bad aspects of the tongue, we also want to become aware of some truths that will help us in its control.

Theme: The Bible tells us about…


A. The Tongue Can Bless.

1. The tongue is a blessing when it speaks God’s praises.

Ps. 51:14 “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.”

Ps. 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

Ps. 147:1 “Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.”

NOTE: Which would you say that you do most: gripe, or give thanks to God? By the way praising and thanking God doesn’t depend on everything being wonderful in your life, as the following points out:

John Wesley was about 21 years of age when he went to Oxford University. He came from a Christian home, and he was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet in those days he was a bit snobbish and sarcastic.

One night, however, something happened that set in motion a change in Wesley’s heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the poor fellow had only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t even have a bed. Yet he was an unusually happy person, filled with gratitude to God.

Wesley, being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the man’s misfortunes. “And what else do you thank God for?” he said with a touch of sarcasm.

The porter smiled, and in the spirit of meekness replied with joy, “I thank Him that He has given me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and above all a constant desire to serve Him!” Deeply moved, Wesley recognized that this man knew the meaning of true thankfulness.

Many years later, in 1791, John Wesley lay on his deathbed at the age of 88. Those who gathered around him realized how well he had learned the lesson of praising God in every circumstance. Despite Wesley’s extreme weakness, he began singing the hymn, “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath.”2

2. The tongue is a blessing when it speaks for peace.

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Theodora Brown

commented on Feb 10, 2012

Is their a topic for women of scorn?

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