The Most Dangerous Member in Our Church
A young man once came to the great philosopher Socrates to receive instructions in oration. The moment that the young man was introduced he began to talk, without any chance for Socrates to reply. When Socrates finally could get a word in, he said, "Young man, I will have to charge you a double fee." The young man asked, "A double fee, why is that?" To which Socrates replied, "I will have to teach you two lessons: first, how to hold your tongue, and then, how to use it!"
The subject before us, in these twelve verses is the dangerous weapon of the tongue. Keep in mind that James wrote this letter over nineteen hundred years ago, however it could have very easily been written to our generation. So concerned about the use, or misuse of the tongue, that James compared it to: a horse, a ship, a snake, a fire, a gushing fountain, and fruitful trees.
One of the greatest dangers, that we as Christians face, is the wrongful use of our tongue.
George Eliot: "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence to the fact!"
When a doctor examines a patient, he usually asks him to stick out his tongue. This is helpful in diagnosing the illness. Spiritually, the tongue test is also valid, for what we say is very revealing of where we're at in our walk with the Lord. So, let's look at James' discussion, and see what he has to say about "The Most Dangerous Member In Our Church!" James seeks to give us three different types of tongues, in these verses, and:
I. WE SEE THE CONTROLLED TONGUE (v. 2-5)
In these verses, we are to look at the controlled tongue, and there are some things that we must realize.
A. WE MUST REALIZE A PRACTICAL FACT (v. 2)
James is very realistic to point out, that we all "offend", or stumble, in many things, and in many areas of our lives.
However, the area that he's addressing is the area of our words, and our speech. Thus, he shows us two scenarios:
1. THE MATURITY IN OUR SPEECH "perfect man"
PERFECT(lit.): "to be mature"---a banking term
PICTURE: Of a note that has come due, and matured
Thus, the man who, though he may fall in many other areas, but, yet is able to control his tongue is a man mature in the faith.
John Blanchard tells the story of skiing in Idaho. After a while, one of the skiers, who appeared to be a beginner, fell head over heels down the hill. Mr. Blanchard asked the ski instructor, "You must get a lot of that among beginners?" The ski instructor replied, "Yes, we do, but you never get too expert to do it."
James is not saying that once a man learns this lesson, that he'll never be exempt from it again. But, once a man learns the lesson of controlling his tongue, he is developing maturity of his speech.
2. THE MASTERY OF OUR SPEECH "..able also to bridle.."
Again, James is not saying that a man who controls his tongue is perf ...
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