Vs. 1, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” It is a privelidge to teach but also a very great responsibility. As I go back to a Youth Pastor role, it is on my heart now more than ever. I hope & pray all of you would one day be teachers of His word…most importantly to your children one day and hopefully in the church too! James goes on to mention the power of the words and what we say. The Book of Proverbs gives us much wisdom on this topic and we see the life of Peter who goes from a man who often spoke before he thought to the leader of the first church. We also see the importance of Wisdom (Vs. 13-18). Not only are we called to know His word, we are also called to make wise choices (applying God’s word). There are two wisdom’s…the wisdom from below (earthly, unspiritual, of the devil) and the wisdom from above (pure, peace-loving, etc.). People who follow the wisdom of the world…you will usually find jealousy, division & much confusion in their lives. True wisdom are people who live it in their lives and the gentle words they use.
Regarding application…Taming the Tongue. Vs. 9, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.” We are reminded the Tongue is compared to a bit in a horse’s mouth, a ship’s rudder, and a simple flame of fire in a forest…all small, but all very effective in what they can do. But notice this truth in Vs. 8, “but no man can tame the tongue…” Question: Do you know what this means? It means, without God…there is absolutely NO WAY we can learn to tame our tongue…there is NO WAY we can stop cussing, or stop gossiping, slandering, saying things that can hurt others, etc. When we allow God to takeover our lives and control the words we say, we will find the words we use will be far different than what we used to speak. The words will have gentleness, patience, self control & love mixed with them.
A careless word may kindle strife;
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instill;
A brutal word may smite and kill.
A gracious word may smooth the way;
A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lessen stress;
A loving word may heal and bless.
Brothers & Sisters in Christ…think before you speak and let God change the words that come out of your mouth.