Today, we are studying chapter three from the book of James. Go ahead and read it. If we can grasp what James wants us to learn here, we will find life will go a lot more smoother. I believe we all would agree that our tongues gets us into a lot of trouble. The words that spew out aren’t always pleasant, kind or loving. The first two verses exemplify this fact.
Teachers will be held to a higher level of accountability. When believers are under the tutelage of a teacher, the words that they use will either help or hinder another’s walk with God. Since we will see why the tongue is a powerful weapon, James says most of us should not become teachers in the Church.
What is the reason for this in verse 2? What would happen if we controlled our tongues?
God would consider us perfect. It is only through Christ that we can attain such a high standard. When we follow Christ and obey the Holy Spirit, we are made perfect in every other way as well. What a great incentive for us to guard our tongues and speak only when the Spirit leads us to. Wouldn’t it be beneficial if we followed the Spirit’s leading every time we posted on social media?
Notice how James uses a horse, a rudder, and a spark to awaken us to what is inside our mouths in verses 3-6. All it takes is a small bit inside a horse’s mouth to control it. A small rudder can steer a ship even in strong winds, while a spark can set the whole forest on fire. We also read that our tiny tongues can make grand speeches to a whole lot of people. We have great influence when it comes to those around us.
This should cause us to stop and allow God to change our hearts and minds so our tongues become more godly.
How does James describe our tongues in verse 6? Is there any part of the body unaffected? What can an uncontrolled tongue do to you?
It’s incredible how we can train all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and fish, but “no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.”8
How does James describe what happens inside us; see verse 9?
This is the battle that Paul talks about in Romans 7:14-25. Study this passage for added insight. “So, blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth.”10 James says this is not right.
What do you learn from verse 11-12?
James moves on to teaching us what true wisdom looks like. It is good to remember that it comes from God. We do not possess it. Yet, God in His mercy and grace, gives us true wisdom when we follow His Son and obey. We are to be wise and understand God’s ways. James challenges us by telling us to prove it.
How doe we prove that we understand God’s ways, see verse 13?
We are called to live an honorable life. We are made to do good works. James reveals an important character trait of a true follower of Christ. We must have humility.
Where does humility come from, see verse 13?
Verses 14-15 reveals the opposite of humility. List out the ungodly traits that cause us to leave the narrow road that God has called us to walk on. When we leave it, we place ourselves in the realm where it is earthly, unspiritual and demonic. It shouldn’t be any surprise that we will find disorder and evil abounding everywhere. This is what happens when we become jealous and serve our own selfish ambitions. We take a walk on the dark side.
But, praise the Lord that God in His mercy and grace, and by His Son’s sacrifice, we can choose to live a whole new way! God removes us from the perils of this deadly world and places us on the Rock, who is Jesus Christ. There, He fills us with His wisdom.
How does James describe God’s wisdom, see verse 17?
We become pure, peace-loving, gentle in all circumstances, and willing to yield to others. God says His children are full of mercy and good deeds. We will show no favoritism and we will be sincere to everyone around us.
Notice how James ends chapter 3, we are also called to be peacemakers. If we plant seeds of peace, we will reap a harvest of righteousness.
My friends, we have within us the capability of living united in love. The way to ignite this is to repent of our sins, those you are aware of and those that you keep locked up. We are called to do this daily. Refresh your memory on why by restudying verses 6-10 and 14-16. Ask God to forgive you and ask Him to fill you up with Himself. Then believe and trust Him for He hears you. God hears your heart. Spend time in His Word and allow the Holy Spirit to change your thinking and your heart. God will help you become like His Son.
I need you to walk in Christ. You need me to walk in Christ. Let’s encourage one another to live out the godly traits that James is teaching us. Our world would be a more loving place.