Thursday, January 8, 2009

James 3:1-12 "The Tongue"

Read James 3:1-12.

"Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." NIV
It's really hard for me to do this lesson from this perspective. I'm getting ready to go to my Bible study and speak on the power of speaking the Word of God -- taking biblical authority. But I suppose the main difference here is what we are speaking. The tongue is a powerful organ which can be used for good or for evil. It can create or tear down. Build or destroy. So we must choose our words carefully -- not be so quick to speak.

I think that is something that has been heavily impressed on me lately -- the quickness with which we speak. In the past, people used to take time before speaking. They'd think through their words and make every one of them meaningful. (Of course, there is the whole respect for others and for education thing, too. But that's another subject.) But now it seems to be the norm to speak your stream of conscious. And somehow in whatever I'm spewing, something halfway intelligent or useful will come out. (Of course, I'm one to talk. That's basically my blogspot. ;-)However, I do reread before posting.)

If I'd take more time before speaking, what would happen? I'd have time to listen to the Lord's direction. My words would be wiser and more thought out. I could stop myself from mindless criticism or speaking hurtful words. I could be more purposeful in my conversations.

Lord, guard my tongue. Pause my speech so I have time to hear Your voice guiding me in wisdom. May my words lift up and not tear down, build and not destroy.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Does your tongue get you into trouble or do you have a handle on it? Explain.
  2. Do you have a plan for guarding your tongue? If you don't, come up with one.
  3. Consciously spend an entire day without saying one negative or demeaning thing.
  4. Is there a correlation between pausing before speaking and good things coming out of our mouths? Can you find other Scripture to support your conclusion?

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