James tells us that there is nothing more difficult to control than the tongue. It destroys people’s reputation, often under the guise that what is being said is accurate. We are hurt, so we verbally lash out. We want to be well thought of, so we feign piety. The only way to gain any victory over the tongue is to work on the heart, since it is out of the heart that the mouth speaks. Unfortunately, gossip often is the natural language of the church, but there can be victory.
I. Theology of James is very much like that of Paul, but with a twist
II. Tongue (3:1-12)
A. The tongue is an amazing part of our body
B. How can the tongue be so powerful?
C. 1:26 is a frightening verse
III. Four ways in which I think we rationalize not bridling our tongue.
A. It is true – “I can say whatever I want as long as it is true.”
B. She/He hurt me – right to say whatever I want
C. Feign piety
D. Pretend to be really religious – cloak gossip and slander in religious language
IV. So what are we going to do about it?
A. Start with our heart
B. Take every word captive to Christ
C. There is a time and place to talk about issues – confront as well as comfort
V. This is one of the central struggles of the Christian walk
A. Must rise to the challenge
B. Faith without works is dead
C. Never be fully successful this side of heaven