James 1:26 says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”
Read James 3:1-12 – In this passage, why is the tongue compared to a horse’s bit, a ship’s rudder, and a small spark?
It is compared to a horse’s bit and ship’s rudder because it is small, but it has the ability to guide or steer us in a certain direction. Like a small spark, it has the power to cause great harm.
Verse 6 says, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body …” It goes further in verse 8 to say that “no man can tame the tongue.”
All of this makes it almost seem like there is no hope when it comes to controlling our speech. Yet, it must be possible, because we are commanded to do it. The point is that we cannot do this in our own strength, and also that we will never control what comes out of our mouths if we do not control what’s in our hearts.
Read James 1:1-27. Notice that speech sins are discussed in the context of the “trials of many kinds” (v. 2) which test our faith and develop our perseverance. Why do we have more trouble taming our tongues when we are in the middle of trials? Can you think of times when you’ve seen stress bring about speech sins?
According to verses 13-15, the temptation to sin in any area comes from our “own evil desires.” What evil desires might be in play when we have trouble controlling our mouths during trials/stress?
selfishness, doubt, anger, desire for revenge – Can you think of others? Continue reading