Summary: We all need a new tongue. One that lifts up the Name of Jesus and doesn’t lie or gossip.
The Battle of the Tongue
Pastor Jamie Wright * May 2, 2007* Wed Night
Controlling our tongue is one of the toughest battles we will face in our spiritual lives.
Our words and our speech are to be glorifying to God and used to build up those around us.
It doesn’t take people long to get a feel for a person through the way they talk, the tone they use
The tongue is the key to our maturity as a Christian.
The tongue is the true measure of the change that’s taken place on the inside.
Often we deal with the more impressive issues of faith, the seemingly more important issues, we may fast, spend hours praying, memorize whole books of the Bible, all of these are good things and commanded by God but if we fail to control our tongue, James says they are worthless.
It is so important to control our tongue
Is your tongue destructive or productive?
I. THREE TRAITS OF THE TONGUE James 3
A. The Tongue is Very Small but Very Powerful!
In comparison to an Arabian stallion a bit is quite small.
In comparison to an aircraft carrier a rudder is quite small!
Words are like dynamite--if used properly and in the right place they are beneficial. Used improperly and in the wrong place they produce a lot of damage!
If a person can control their tongue they can master their life! (3:2)
B. The Tongue is Very Small but Very Dangerous!
The great Chicago fire was allegedly started by a single cow-- Mrs. O’Leary’s, who kicked over a lantern in its stall. From that one lantern the entire city burned down!
A Dangerous/Destructive tongue
1. SPEAKS IDLE OR CARELESS WORDS
Jesus says in Matthew 12:36 that we will give an account of judgment day for every idle words we speak. The word “idle” in the Greek means “lazy; free from work”. That means to me that every word that I speak that doesn’t produce some good, I will held accountable for.
A person who gossips is the devil’s broadcasting station. Paul describes someone who gossips as a “busybody”. Someone who doesn’t necessarily have a fulfilling life of their own, so they insist on talking and ruining someone else’s
How do I know if I am gossiping? Here are five practical questions to ask yourself before sharing information:
IS IT TRUE?
IS IT NECESSARY?
IS IT BENEFICIAL?
DO I HAVE PERMISSION TO SHARE IT?
IS MY MOTIVE PURE?
If you can’t answer YES to all five questions, yourself, me and this church a favor, keep your mouth shut!
Illus. Some years ago there was a southern comedian by the name of Jerry Clower. I loved Jerry Clower because he loved the Lord, and he didn’t need profanity to be funny, and often shared the Lord with his audience when he performed. Jerry Clower was known to tell stories about the Ledbetter family. Jerry told a story about Eugene Ledbetter that just liked to lie. One day the Ledbetter’s neighbor’s dog had the mange. They shaved it down except the head and tail. When Eugene saw it, he ran around yelling, “Lion in the yard! Lion in the yard!” Now Uncle Versey Ledbetter “whooped” Eugene and sent him to his room to ask the Lord to forgive him for lying. About 30 minutes later, Eugene came downstairs. Uncle Versey asked him, “Do you feel the Lord has forgiven you for lying?” Eugene said, “Yes sir, in fact He spoke to me.” “What’d He say to ya?” Uncle Versey asked. “He said it was alright because the first time He saw that dog, He thought it was a lion too.”
We laugh at that story, but lying isn’t a laughing matter in the eyes of God. In fact, Proverbs 12:22 says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.” When you tell a lie, even if it one you might categorize as a “white lie”, it is an abomination in the sight of God. The word here for “abomination” in the Hebrew means, “a disgusting thing”. So we can say that lying lips turn God’s stomach. It makes God sick. Just like I tell my kids, always tell the truth, even if you think it will get you in trouble. Someone who perpetually lies is hard to trust.
4. SWEARS AND CUSSES
5. Murmurs and complains
C. The Tongue Very Small but Very Revealing. (read verse 9)
1. How and what we talk about--the "spin" we put on life by our words reveals our hearts in a way nothing else does!
Read Matt. 12:33-35.
II. TAMING OUR TONGUES Practical guidelines from James
A. BE QUICK TO LISTEN, SLOW TO SPEAK (1:19).
1. "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt" (Abraham Lincoln).