Summary: The tongue is a double edged sword. Arguments and wars have been started by words of misunderstanding. This week, is James 3 we read about being held responsible for what we teach and the words we say. We are taught the true wisdom has many characteristic
James 3:1-18 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2) We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
3) When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4) Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5) Likewise the tongue is a very small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6) The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole coarse of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7) All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8) but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9) With the tongue we praise or Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10) Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11) Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12) My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
13) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14) But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15) Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16) For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18) Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
The tongue is a double edged sword. Arguments and wars have been started by words of misunderstanding. This week, is James 3 we read about being held responsible for what we teach and the words we say. We are taught the true wisdom has many characteristics of greatness and I believe the tongue and the kind of wisdom we have share a common bind.
1) Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
James warns all of us including himself that we who teach will be held to a higher standard. Many may think that is not fair but guess what. I think it is. How many of us have watched churches divide and close the doors because of a division of the people started by an argument? Jesus was teaching about the Law in Matthew chapter 5: 17-20. I want to read verse 19.
19) Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
There are many people in the world who are great at telling people what to do. Yet when you look at the lives they lead, they are not the example their teaching would present them to be. These hypocrites missed the point of Jesus teaching all together. Jesus taught that it is more important to follow God’s Law than it is to just simply explain it. Placing God’s Law into practice is more difficult than telling others how to do it. Once you have placed God’s Law into practice, it is much easier to explain to others how to do it and the rewards are greater.
2) We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
Here the word perfect can be replaced with the word mature. I do not mean mature in a chronological way either. I mean mature in a spiritual sense of the word. Jesus had already showed us that most men are of immature faith and all men stumble.
John 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”