James is the half-brother of Jesus and was an influential leader in Jerusalem. He wrote the letter of James to the "dispersion" - the Jewish people that were living outside of Jerusalem. This letter is a faith gauge, and it has 61 imperative (action) verbs. It speaks to the idea that we live as an overflow of the righteousness given to us.
Chapter 3 shows us that the tongue is one way to gauge spiritual maturity.
The importance of taming the tongue:
1. Our tongues set the course of our lives (3:3-4). Just like the bit in a horse's mouth or a
rudder on a ship, our small tongue will guide our lives.
2. Our tongues can wreck the lives around us (3:5-8). We need the Holy Spirit to help us
tame our tongue. It can be powerfully destructive.
3. Our tongues expose what's in our heart (3:9-12).
A. It starts with the heart - there is a direct connection between our heart and our mouth. (Proverbs 4:23)
B. Pray for help! Psalm 51:10; Psalm 19:14; Psalm 141:3
C. Slow down with your words. James 1:19 says to be quick to hear, slow to speak...
D. Choose to give life to others Proverbs 10:21; Proverbs 16:24
"Vocal holiness includes gracious speech and silence." - Sinclair Ferguson
Questions to Consider:
1. Whose voices are you listening to the most? Are you sure those voices are healthy and of good doctrine? How do you know?
2. What is the condition of your heart? How does that effect your words?
3. Is there more "life" or "curse" spoken in your home? In your workplace? Choose this week to speak life over each other and see how much that impacts your relationships.