Text: James 3:1-12
By: Atigbi, Wilfred (Bishop)
Sometimes in Christian life we fail to remember to let our lights shine to the world. When we make it known, and we should, that we are Christians must be willing to live the life to allow others to see what Christ like living is. We need to be careful what communications pass through our lips. We need to be careful how we speak. We need to make sure that we are talking the way the Jesus would. The inspired Apostle Paul wrote these words to the Church at Ephesus: (Ephesians 4:29) “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
WRONG USE OF THE TONGUE LEADS TO SIN;
A person who tell others of a fellow Christians lifestyle or others, must be very careful of whatever comes out of your mouth. Some of things that would proceed out of the Christians mouth should be filter internally before letting it out. It is difficult to defend someone that is outright sinning. All anybody could do is shake our heads in disappointment and disgust. The warnings of our speech need to be made known. Some Christians fail to remember that they are under the microscope of the world. If someone could find a Christian doing something wrong that would give them the ammunition to charge the Church as being immoral which evidently ends up charging Christ since it is His Church (Matthew 16:18).
Paul in another letter made a like statement as he did to those in Ephesus. [Colossians 3:8]” But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, FILTHY COMMUNICATION out of your mouth.” That is the great test of consideration in this book of James.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TAMING THE TONGUE:
We need to try and tame our tongues; they most surely can get us into much trouble. (James 3:8-12) “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceeded blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain sends forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
SOME COMMON DANGERS OF WRONG USAGE OF THE TONGUE:
- DAMAGED RELATIONSHIPS. When we learn that a friend has passed on a rumor about us, the tongue is responsible; – either true or false, but confidential information – it always does damage to the relationship. In [Proverbs 16:28] we read: “A perverse man stirs up dissension and a gossip separates close friends.”
- TRUST IS DESTROYED. If you tell a colleague a personal problem and in few days later a call from a mutual friend wanting to help with that problem. The colleague is still a friend, but that might be the last time one would ever trusted him with personal problems that he did not want broadcasted. We find this warning in [Proverbs11:13], “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”
- OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE SUFFERS. All sin separates us from intimate fellowship with God. Gossip is no different. God holds us accountable for our careless words. In the Gospel of Matthew, we read (Matthew 12:36-37): “But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.”
- WRONG TONGUES OFTEN SPREAD LIES.
So often, our tongues consist of sharing unproven rumors about others – that turns out to be untrue. This is dangerous in a number of ways.
First, the person the rumor is about has no opportunity to respond as the rumor spreads.
Second, people often make incorrect judgments about people based on rumors that prove untrue. This does an untold amount of damage to the person the rumor is about. Third, we participate in spreading what amounts to lies. This does harm to our own integrity and reputation. We read in [Proverbs 15:4], “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Nothing is more deadly to relationships than spreading false rumors and gossip. The wise person keeps their tongue in check. [Matthew 15:11]. The next time you are tempted to gossip remember the proverb of the feathers – and how your words, once they do damage, may never be completely undone. Ask God to give you the wisdom and strength you need to resist the urge to spread wrong rumour.
WE MUST ENDEVOUR TO LET OUR SPEECH BE PURE:
If we are going to allow ourselves to say things we should not, we must realize that earthly wisdom is not from above. We must realize that if we speak of things above, as we should as Christians, let our speech be pure.
The Psalmist wrote concerning the tongue and Peter confirmed and made the same statement. (Psalms 34:13-14) “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” (I Peter 3:10) “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” As the Psalmist says and so is the conclusion of this lesson, we need to depart from evil and do good. The next time you start to speak in a way, in which you should not, think about the judgment you will receive for such evil talking.
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let eschew evil, and do good, let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers, but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. [1 Pet. 3:10-13]