James 3:1-12

James 3:1-12 … Among the very valuable and practical instructions we get in the book of James, are the observations on speech at the beginning of James 3 … what we say (or don’t say) and how we say it. These are important life practices for a believer (or for anyone else as well). They’re stated in a colorful and memorable recitation. We shouldn’t easily forget these admonitions. James uses the “tongue” as his euphemism for speech and says these things about it: like a ship’s rudder, it’s very small but controls outcomes; the tongue can be like a match setting an uncontrollable forest fire, it’s potentially untamable and a source of evil and poison; and lastly, it can be the source of both blessing and cursing which is incongruent for one whose faith rests in Jesus Christ. That kind of analysis of speech ought to move us to a great deal of caution and care in what we say. There are many reasons for this. In Luke 6:45, Jesus explained that we speak out of the abundance of the heart … which is to say, whatever is dominating our inner self will ultimately come out in our speech. Jeremiah 17:9 will tell us that our hearts have the capacity to be deceitful and desperately evil. So there’s good reason to be very measured in what we say.

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