James 3 (Godly communication – controlling the tongue)

February 26, 2011

James 3 tonight discussing how our communication should line up with God’s.

How do we communicate when we get cut off while driving, or our kids are disrespectful, or someone gets our order wrong, or when we don’t see eye to eye with our spouse, or when someone gets in our face?

We communicate in many ways but perhaps mostly by our words. Our tongue has a really big problem. It’s directly connected to the heart.

Luke 6:45 NIV

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Jeremiah 17:9 NIV

The heart is deceitful above all things

and beyond cure.

Who can understand it?

so now we see the problem. The Lord gives us the solution in James 3.

James 3:1 NIV

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

We as Christians are responsible to make sure that in all situations and circumstances we speak in a Godly tone and Godly words. James has an even higher standard for those who teach others.

James 3:2 NIV

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.

If you can control your tongue, you are well on your way to controlling every part of yourself for the Lord.

James 3:3-5 NIV

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 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. 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.

Whatever controls tour tongue controls your whole body. So if your heart is in charge of the tongue and your heart isn’t right, then bad stuff can happen as easily as a small spark can create a great blaze.

James 3:6 NIV

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.

A very strong warning similar to when Jesus said it’s not what goes into the body but what comes out of your mouth that defiles the body.

James 3:7-10 NIV

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

He speaks these things in love “my brothers”. He also doesn’t auger coat it though. He doesn’t say here that maybe we could just slightly modify the way we speak. No, it cannot be so. No cursing and blessing with the same mouth.

James 3:11-12 NIV

Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Our understanding of this is that, “you say you are a Christian and yet look at what comes out of your mouth. You words should reflect that which you say you are.” We mist learn how to Co troll our tongue. And when we blow it (cuz we will.) Man up and immediately correct the situation apologizing for the wrong words.

Now how many of you would take a package that allowed you to control your tongue and make this problem go away for $100? How bout for $20? How bout for free? By the end of the chapter you have a choice to accept this free wisdom or not.

James 3:13-16 NIV

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

We know from relationships that the last part is true and that very same envy and selfish ambition come from the wisdom from below. Psalm 139 David said to everlastins heart and get rid of any evil left and lead him in the way everlasting. And this is the very same thing that James is attempting to explain that we need as well.

James 3:17-18 NIV

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

David in psalm 51 realizes his need for a heart adjustment. We also need to come to God on the matter and ask Him to continue to work in us and create in us a new heart.

Wisdom from above is willingness for God to come in and make changes. Wisdom from above is humility and keeping peace.

Matthew 5:3-11 NIV

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

This is the wisdom from above. This is what we must have manifested in our life. These words are the standard for Christian loving. These words are the instructions of how God wants us as His children to think and act and react. if you haven’t already begun this journey, then be encouraged to start tonight/today. We must purpose ourselves to be changed and lead by God before we purpose ourselves to share what we learn to grow others.

Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit but rather pray for His work in you to continue that You might have the characteristics desired of a follower of Christ. God does want us to get this right and He is totally willing to help us. We must trust in His word and be doers and He will change our hearts.

Pray for Him now to refine your heart through His word and through His Holy Spirit. You can have a pure heart and your words can thus flow forth from that and reflect t that you are God’s child.


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