Intro: 1. Many broken relationships, and even wars due to words said
2. text: James 3:1-12
3. A Christian must control his tongue.
I. It can ruin our life
A. Description of the tongue:
Small/ A Fire/ A world (cosmos) of iniquity
1. It sets on fire the course of our life (wheel of existence)
a. Great forest fire began with little flame
b. Illustration used: Horse bit, Boat Rudder
c. It is so small, but boasts of great things
d. Prov. 13:3
2. Tongue defiles the whole body
a. Would think it was the other way around
b. Jesus said (Mt. 15:18)
c. Key: v. 3-4 Small part controls the whole body
d. Hard to tell whether you defile tongue or it defiles you, one
thing is for sure, when you have one, then you have the
e. Tongue is small, but can control your destiny. Either you
control it or it will control you
3. One spark (one carless word0 can ignite the whole church)
-DON'T PLAY WITH MATCHES
C. Naval Slogan from WW2 - "Loose Lips sink ships".
1. Every Seaman knew what this meant.
2. When you were on shore leave you did not divulge where your
boat was headed. To do so would put yourself and all your
crew mates in danger because the enemy might be listening.
3. Loose lips still sink ships -- Relationships, Friendships, etc.
D. Are you guilty of having loose lips?
1. Child's song: "Oh be careful little lips what you say."
2. (Prov. 29:11) - modern translations say a fool vents all his
anger. Heb lit says: "A fool utters all his spirit, (mind) but a
wise man holds them back"
3. Test: 1. Is it Christ like
a. Does it build up or tear down?
b. Is it kind
II. It by nature Cannot be Tamed
A. When men were created, God gave them dominion over the earth
B. But man has still not tamed the tongue
1. Have never in 1000's of years domesticated the tongue
2. Tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison
C. On the news a Pitbull that killed a little boy without reason
1. Decision was made to destroy the dog and punish the owner
2. Owners of pitbulls who do not keep the dogs leashed or locked
up can go to jail if they hurt someone.
3. There are some animals who by nature just cannot be trusted:
Solution? KEEP THEM ON A LEASH OR LOCKED UP
4. The tongue has to be kept on a leash - HOLD YOUR
TONGUE at all times
D. Average person spends at least 1/5 of his life talking
1. Most do enough of it to fill a 50 page book in a single day
2. 1 yr time = 132 books, 400 pages each
3. What if those books actually existed and you could go to the
library and check them out?
4. CONTROL YOUR TONGUE
III. It is inconsistent with Faith
A. A true Christian that gossips, speaks in a harsh hurtful way is an
B. It is incosistent to in one breath praise God, and in the next, speak
badly about or to brother, made in the likeness of God.
1. It would be like a fresh spring bubbling both fresh and bitter
2. It would be like an apple tree growing olives,
3. (V. 1-2) Read the passage again
a. Teachers incur a stricter judgement Why? Tool is the
tongue, which has the potential to do so much
b. If you don't stumble in speech - Sign of Christian
Completness --Assumes if you can bridle tongue, you can
master other parts
4. ( 1:26) Your Religion is WORTHLESS if you don't control
5. Come to worship every Sunday, come to class, involved, but if
speak harshly, in anger, lash out, gossip, UNBRIDLED - It's
C. Little Billy's family had come on rought times
1. Used some gold wrapping paper to wrap a box,
Dad yelled at him
2. Following day it was Christmas, he gave Dad the box
3. Dad opened it and it was empty.
4. Dad yelled again - "Don't you know when you give a present,
there's supposed to be something in it?"
5. But Daddy, I blew kisses in it for you! She cried with tears
in her eyes
6. Ad was crushed, he begged for forgivness. It just wasn't the
same after that She felt the gift was worthless
D. If you don't hold your tongue, your religion is worthless
1. A True Christian must hold his tongue
a. Because in can ruin your life
b. Because it by nature cannot by tamed
c. Because it is inconsistent with faith
2. It's your choice, you can choose to tear down with your tongue, or build up. Which?