The Power of the Tongue – James 3:1-12

Next Sunday we reach chapter 3 in our study in the epistle of James and come to a change in theme from riches and poverty to wisdom. James first addresses wisdom in speech by dealing first and foremost with the tongue. The heart of James’ message in this very convicting section of Scripture, is that believers must control their speech because the tongue has an incredible potential to be used for both and good and evil; the magnitude of what can be done with the tongue is striking compared to its small size. This is particularly true for teachers seen in verse 1, but also applies to everyone in verse 2. While James dwells mainly on the negative aspect of speech, the text also points us to the One who has transformed our hearts and our tongues, for out of the abundance of the heart, our mouths speak. James, as he typically does, brings out the weight of this with many wonderful illustrations to make his point how powerful the tongue is and how dangerous it can be, but also its ability to bless God. His illustrations include the bit in the horses mouth, the rudder of a large ship, the spark from a small fire, the spring of water, and the fig tree. Considering how important this aspect of the Christians life is, James pulls no punches in bringing out the danger that can come from ones tongue.

We, who are saved by God’s grace, nevertheless live in bodies of death, so we must guard our hearts and tongues, and yet at the same time depend totally on God who sanctifies the heart and tongue to bring forth praises unto the author and finisher of our salvation.

Please read James 3:1-12 and pray for God to speak to you through the preached word this Sunday.


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