Taming the Tongue

Call me a glutton for punishment, but I really enjoy reading through James. Actually, I know alot of people that say as well - the reading James part, not the glutton for punishment part. The book is really a spiritual kick in the pants that more often than not is needed in my life. What about you?

Have you ever said something you wish you hadn't? You know, the old wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong way? If not stop reading and got to Revelation 21:8 and read (focus on the part about liars!). We all have at some point and James tells us as much.

In James 3:1-12 we get a warning to watch our words - to tame our tongues. Now it is first given to teachers, but it applies to us all. He warns us in a unique way. James doesn't just come out say "watch what you say". He takes the time to tell us how sinful, powerful, evil, uncontrollable, and inconsistent our tongues are in the hope that we will take this truth seriously. Is this an important message for us? Look at your own life; have all your words even today brought glory to God?

So what does James tell us in order that we might "watch our words":
  1. We all sin (3:2)
  2. The Tongue is powerful (3:3-5)
  3. The Tongue is dangerous (3:5-6)
  4. The Tongue is untamable (3:7-8)
  5. The Tongue is inconsistent (3:9-12)

No matter how you want to break that text down, it draws a pretty discouraging picture. As my theology professor would always say, "that is not complimentary language"! So what should our response be?

  1. In light of this fact, I need to be slow to speak.
  2. In light of this fact, I need to put my hope in Christ.

When I read James 3:1-12, I am reminded that my sinful mouth put Christ on a cross, and I need Him to save me. And thannks be to God, I am reminded that my hope is not built on my ability to be perfect, but "my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness".

What is your hope built on?

For another great little post on the tongue, my friend Julian Freeman has some good thoughts.

Love in the Truth.