Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 11/02/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show. Just click HERE to listen!
Review Lesson 6
Read James 3:1-11
1 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.
Teaching was a highly valued and respected profession in the Jewish culture. Here James is warning us that the responsibility as teacher is great because they affect those they lead.
2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. What we say, and don’t say, are both important. Saying the right things at the right time is equally important to not saying things we shouldn’t. An uncontrolled tongue includes gossip, bragging, manipulating, tearing others down, lying, complaining, grumbling, etc. All of these are damaging
6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. James compares the damage from the tongue to a fire. Satan uses the tongue to divide people, destroy relationships, and spread destruction within a group. We cannot take back words spoken even with an apology. Before we speak we should remember that words are like fire—we can neither control them nor reverse the damage. Only God can heal the wounds from words spoken.
7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. As human beings we cannot control our tongue on our own. We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.
9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. Our speech can either be right and pleasing to God, or destructive and bitter. We must make a choice to bless and not curse with our mouth. We always need the Holy Spirit’s help!
· What kind of damage can an uncontrolled tongue do to a marriage? Family? Children? Church?
· What kind of rationalization have you used for having said hurtful words?
· What are some specific problems that Christians can have with what they say? What is the most offensive?
· What would you say to someone who professed faith in Christ but can’t control their tongue?
· What are some practical ways that believers can bring their speech under God’s control?
· Read Does God Care if We Gossip?( attached)
Read James 3
Meditate/Memorize James 3:10