5/21/16 The Evil Tongue

Remember, my brothers and sisters, that Jesus warned us against calling ourselves teachers.  Only those to whom God gives the gift of teaching should be teachers, because they will be held to a higher standard than everyone else.  You must teach God’s Word correctly, and in a loving and truthful way, and that is a difficult thing to do for any who are not specifically called by God to do so.  And when the day of judgment comes, though you may be saved because of your faith in your Messiah, it will be as though you were saved out of the flames of a raging fire, if the work you have done is out of vain pride instead of out of faith and through the Holy Spirit.  None of us is perfect; we all stumble over various things.  But one who aspires to teach others must have more self-control than most, and must especially be able to control the words that he speaks.  This is a very difficult thing to do, because the tongue is the hardest part of the body to tame.  If you can control your tongue, you can control your whole body.  To control a horse, we place a bit in its mouth and pull on the bridle to make the horse turn left or right.  To control a large ship, we turn a small rudder.  In the same way, though the tongue is small, it is very powerful.  With your tongue, you may either impart wisdom or foolishness, truth or lies, build people up or tear them down.  A small fire can turn into a blaze that burns down an entire forest.  The small tongue is able to engulf the entire body in flames if it is not controlled, even the fires of hell for those who are not saved by the forgiveness of Jesus.  Men have tamed all sorts of creatures, those of the sea, the land, and the air, but aside from Jesus, nobody has ever been able to tame the tongue.  It is like an evil and disobedient spirit, and filled with deadly poison.  With the tongue, we praise and worship God, our Heavenly Father.  With the tongue, we also spout all kinds of curses against people who are made by God in His image.  Blessing and cursing come from the same tongue, and that should not happen.  Can you get fresh water and salt water from the same source?  Can an olive tree bear figs as well as olives?  No, the tongue is the only source that can give both good and evil.


James 3:1-12


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