Taming Your Tweet
In this sermon about taming the tongue, we are challenged to slow down and allow God's wisdom to speak through us to delight others.
Our Mouths Give Us Away
“Nowhere is the relationship between faith and works more evident than in a person’s speech. What you are will inevitably be disclosed by what you say. It might be said that a person’s speech is a reliable measure of his spiritual temperature, a monitor of the inner human condition. The rabbis spoke of the tongue as an arrow rather than a dagger or sword, because it can wound and kill from a great distance. It can wreak great damage even when far from its victim.”—John MacArthur
Have you ever said anything you’ve instantly regretted? We all have. Did you have the opportunity to immediately take it back? Of course, not. Once it’s out, it’s out.
What we say and what we don’t say are important. It’s not only about saying the right words at the right time, but also about controlling our desire to say what we shouldn’t.
In our passage, James sees the tongue as a test of living faith.
Taming the tongue
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their 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 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 body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig-tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
The Importance of the Use of Words
James 3:5 ESV
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
As this sermon about taming the tongue reminds us, James wrote to help Christians live in a world that seemed to be going off the rails with integrity and to represent Christ in the best ways possible.
Pay Attention to the Source of Words
James 3:11 ESV
Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?
It’s not a difficult sermon to grasp: like begets like.
Matthew 12:34 ESV
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
A tongue that produces curses as well as blessing is a contradiction to genuine faith. James says that our lives must show consistency. It’s a high standard, but we have a high calling.
Delight Others with Your Words
Proverbs 18:4 ESV
The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
Fresh spring water is life-giving. It refreshes. It cleanses. It brings blessing. It’s necessary to life. It brings delight. Offered to God on the altar, our tongue has the potential of awesome power for good.
How? Well, it would help if we thought before we spoke. Our speaking must be controlled and emerge from the deep well of God’s wisdom.
James 3:8 ESV
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
There is just one person who can tame our tongue for us: Jesus Christ. He will do it for us. He will cleanse and heal our hearts, ensuring they are fresh water springs, not salt water ones.
Let’s give God our tongues and our hearts, and ask him to use us to be a blessing to others.
If you found this podcast sermon about taming the tongue helpful, would you please do something for me?
Why not check out these posts from around the blog?
- Do something as a result of what you’ve listened to.
- Leave a comment below.
- Repost this link on Twitter, Facebook, or your own blog.
Liked this post? Why not Subscribe & Connect or click the RSS feed in Sidebar on the right and get loads more!