Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: James 1:19

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Controlling the tongue

James 3:1-12

1 Teaching was a highly valued and respected profession in Jewish culture.  Many Jews who embraced Christianity wanted to become teachers (masters).  James warned that although it is good to aspire to teach, the teacher's responsibility is great. 

2,3 What you say and don't say are both important.  Proper speech is not only saying the right words at the right time.. but controlling your desire to say what you shouldn't.  Some examples are gossiping, putting others down, bragging, manipulating, false teaching, exaggerating, complaining, flattering and lying.  Ask yourself before you speak..

1. is it true?
2. is it kind?
3. Is it necessary?

6 James compares the damage the tongue can do to a raging fire- the tongue's wickedness has its source in hell itself.  The uncontrolled tongue can do terrible damage.  Satan uses the tongue to divide people and pit them against one another.  Idle words are damaging because they spread destruction quickly, and no one can stop the results once they are spoken.  We dare not be careless with our words thinking we can apologize later because scars still remain. 

If no human being can control hte tongue, why bother trying?  Even if we may not achieve perfect control of it in this life, we can still learn enough control to reduce the damage it can do.  It is better to fight a fire than to go around setting new ones!  Remember we are not fighting the tongue's fire in our own strength.  The Holy Spirit will give us increasing power to monitor and control what we say.  As Christians we are not sinless, but we should never stop growing.

*Wow!  When I think about it, I still bear the scars from words in my childhood.. Words that should have never been said..  these words came from people who loved me.. but yet they still linger in my mind... and it still affects me and my actions to this very day..

with that being said.. do I do the same to my children.  Normally I would say no.. I have never said those words.. but are there other words that I thought were not bad but still ended up having the same affect??  I am sure there are.  

Lord, please help me to control my tongue.  Help me to keep things that are not kind or necessary to myself.  Help me to keep growing in this area.  

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