Watch Your Tongue - James 1:26
Control Your Tongue
In today's study, Watch Your Tongue, we will inspect just one verse.
Please join me as we continue our journey in James.
To start at the beginning of this study: Life Lessons from the Book of James.
Are You Religious?
The Power of the Tongue
- Analogies for the tongue
- Evil Power of the Tongue
- The hypocrisy of the Tongue
Who Can Tame the Tongue?
Are You Religious
In today's study, we will take just one verse and meditate on its many applications.
James 1:26 "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."
Do you consider yourself religious?
Perhaps you go to Church every week - check; You tithe - check; You read your Bible when you have time (well, you know it's more than most people do) - check; You send up prayers when you remember to - check; Why, you may even go to Bible Study - double-check. So, that must make you a really dedicated Christian right? - UNCHECK!
All of the activities listed above can be a smokescreen - fooling even yourself. It may be just an outward effort to be religious.
It is your tongue that reveals what is inside. If the tongue is not controlled it's a 'tell,' there is no heart change. When Jesus adopts us into His family our whole life changes. "Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" II Cor. 5:17
James is saying that a person who is intimate with Jesus will keep a tight rein on his/her tongue. If you are a gossip, angry word blaster or a blabbermouth you are deceived and all your outward efforts to 'do' the right thing' are totally worthless!
This is not saying you will be perfect, as a young Christian, at controlling your tongue, but the Holy Spirit faithful convicts the child of God when the tongue slips out of place. Growth comes with practicing self-control.
The Power of the Tongue
In this study, I'll share other Bible verses about the tongue to give us a deeper understanding of its power.
I went to www.biblehub.com and typed in the word tongue to learn more about what God says about our tongue.
The truths about the tongue listed in the first four verses are illustrated through analogies. Though the tongue is small - it is also mighty. The analogies used are as follows:
- a small bit in the horse's mouth,
- a small rudder that controls the ship
- a small spark to start a forest fire.
All three have the ability to control and take over its object. So is the power of the tongue - it is tiny, but it has the ability to control the whole body.
Analogies for the Tongue
James 3:3-6 laid out in bullet points
- When we put bits into the mouths of horses, making them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
- Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
- Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.
- Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
- The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Evil Power of the Tongue
These verses make it clear that no human can control his own tongue.
James 3:7-8 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
The Hypocrisy of the Tongue
Many are steeped in religion and blinded by it. They go to church and praise God and then turn around and curse people. The argument is made that the two cannot abide in the same heart.
James 9-12 "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water?"
Who Can Tame the Tongue
The fiercest animal mentioned in the Bible is the tongue - all others can be tamed. "It is kept behind two red doors and more than twenty white bars and its name is spelled as follows: T-O-N-G-U-E. Yes, that is it, the tongue. James says, "The tongue can no man tame." Quote by Howard J. Chidley
Not only is it the fiercest but it is the crudest. Consider its power to kill and destroy. By utilizing its power we can cause such harm to another. Words cannot be taken back. Words can target a heart and abide in it forever.
Who Can Tame the Tongue?
A child of God knows the only one who can help them conquer the devastating and far-reaching consequences of an untamed tongue is God Himself. If you struggle with your tongue - Go to God. Claim Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
Psalm 141:3 "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."
Oh Be Careful
Watch Your Tongue
The following is a reflection I wrote in an effort to teach a powerful truth about the far-reaching effects of the tongue.
The tongue has amazing functions. It has lots of little taste buds covering the top of it. The tongue has everything to do with enjoying food or detecting spoiled or nasty flavors to be avoided like the plague.
The most important consideration of the tongue is the power that it holds. That little, saturated weapon lying so innocently in your mouth is an object of so much influence.
Did you know that your tongue can be used as a deadly weapon? Venomous words may be formed by that flexible, wet, wily little tool in your mouth. You can shoot a dagger through a heart by letting your tongue form words such as idiot, loser, dummy, stupid, crazy and even worse by employing degrading obscenities.
Sarcasm is one of the wiles of the tongue, it's the great pretender - pretending to be funny, but oh so carefully hooking a mysterious barb into its victim. Once the tongue has sent its vile message, it wounds and violates its target. Our tongue has the power to formulate words that destroy and rip at the heart of the hearer.
But wait! Consider the exact opposite use of this dangerously out of control little menace. Our tongue can be tamed. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the power to hold it still when it wants to spew out unwholesome speech. We must cooperate with God to tame it. Choose to use it to bless not curse.
The capacity of this gizmo may be used for good; Why it may even change a life. That little apparatus behind your teeth can work wonderful magic as it creates words of blessings and verbs that lift those cast down; it is able to bestow happiness, percolate giggles, encourage the weary, bring a smile to the sad, restore a broken relationship, forgive an offender and so much more.
Take responsibility for your tongue. A brief moment's meditation will uncover the far-reaching capabilities of your tongue to produce a myriad of messages, be they blatant, or be they subtle. Words have power, power for good or power for evil. The choice is yours!
by Susan Ream
Real Religion - James 1:27
The next topic called Real Religion is the last in the study of James chapter one. If you have been with me from the very beginning, I thank you for persevering. In this study, there are so many truths, nuggets of wisdom, applications and causes for repentance. I pray God has touched you, as He has me, through His living Word.
Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight and guard against corruption from this godless world.