We are continuing our journey through James. Today we are on James 3. It's a very interesting look at our words. How sharp our tongue is, like a two edged sword. Words can hurt, words can tear you down or build you up. They can make or break you. People may call you this or that and whether or not it's true, it can be hurtful. Kids and adults are bullied, names called, and hurts that can last for a lifetime if not released, forgiven for your sake not always theirs.
Today, we are going to use a few different angles to look at James 3. It's a great chapter, as all of them are, but this is one that we have to really take some bites and chew on. It's only 18 powerful verses. Over half of them have to do with our tongue, words spoken and what are responsibility is to tame it. People are quick to call you names when you don't agree with them instead of looking at all sides and agreeing to disagree without name calling.
We do not have to agree with everyone, we don't have to object to everything either. We can keep silent on the things that don't require a lot of energy, but stand up without name calling for the beliefs we carry close to our heart. Whether we agree with them or not. There is much I will stand my ground on, but name calling and belittling someone will not make them see my side or even respect me. Loving them where they are, sometimes even saying goodbye because you have come to an impasse that neither of you can get through, sometimes it's best.
So, let's go on this Journey through James 3 and see what we find out. Take a drink of coffee/tea or soda, and let's get this van moving through. Slow down as you read this and let it soak in, each word, each phrase.
Let's start with prayer... Lord Jesus, Thank you for helping our understanding, for our inner peace even when the world outside is stormy. Thank you for helping me understand your word. Open my eyes to see, my ears to hear, my soul to soak in and my mind to be alert. Let every word soak into my soul, my mind and my heart. Let every person that reads this be transformed by your words, conformed to your words, let me be faithful in your teachings and let the changes be inward and outward expressions of your love in my life. In Your Precious Name Jesus, Amen.
Take my life- this is a great song about what I just prayed for us.
James 3Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Tongue Is a Fire
Really look at this passage above. It's all about the tongue and your choice to use it for good or evil. Into Thy Word site explains it this way. "
James is telling us that those who teach have a greater responsibility in communicating effectively and we will be judged in a stricter sense due to the fact we are conveying to others His precepts. If we do it with bad intentions, or use words to put others off/down instead of lifting them up, we will be judged for it! So, how we can make sure we are better at modeling Christ to others? The key thing James brings to our attention is the discipline to exercise self control in how we use words! This is paramount, because what comes out will either lift up or destroy. The power and responsibility are ours." "So then, do you fully understand the power of our words? Our tongues are two to six ounces of muscle and whether from the biggest bodybuilder to the frailest little child, they get more exercise and less control than any other muscle in our 50 lb to 350 lb body! Thus, we must be conscious of what comes out of our mouths before it comes out. Squeezing the toothpaste out is easy, but putting it back in the tube is nearly impossible. When our words come out, they are out for good! We must have them under control! How can we do this? By making sure our tongue is under a good helmsman, God (Psalm 19:14; 51:10; 141:1-4; Eccles. 3:7; Mark ; Luke ; 2 Cor. 6:3-10; 10:5; 11:3; Phil. 4:8; Eph. 4:8; 1 Pet. 1:13-14), and by making sure our spiritual formation is growing in Christ as Lord. When our spiritual life is growing, we will be disciplined as our unspoken words from our thoughts, and our motivations and attitudes are aligned up to His, then our spoken words and deeds will show authentic character and maturity.
When I looked up the word "Words", I came in with this... Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweet and delightful to the soul and healing to the body.
Psalm 1 says Save and help and rescue, Lord, for godly people cease to be, For the faithful vanish from among the sons of men. 2)They speak deceitful and worthless words to one another;
With flattering lips and a double heart they speak.3May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
The tongue that speaks great things [in boasting];Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own; who is lord and master over us?”
“Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
The words and promises of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times.
You, O Lord, will preserve and keep them;
You will protect him from this [evil] generation forever.
The wicked strut about [in pompous self-importance] on every side,
As vileness is exalted and baseness is prized among the sons of men.
What did you see here? Let's let Into They Word explain it better than I can right now.
"Arrogance and condescending attitudes and actions are heinous acts that are diametrically opposed to all that Christ taught and modeled. To be a Christian who is condescending is an oxymoron, with the emphases on the moron. It is stupid and a slap in the face of our Lord who saves and loves us! At the same time, real wisdom will not be compromised, as integrity and compassion do go together.