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The Subject in Everyone's Mouth (10 of 22)
Series: Behave Yourself
I want to talk with you about "The Subject in Everyone's Mouth." I'm referring to the tongue. James has a great deal to say about the tongue and about speech.
In the first chapter, verse 19, he has already touched on the subject in that verse where he says, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." In verse 26 of chapter 1 he says, "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain." He is saying that one of the practical tests about the reality of your religion is whether or not you are able to bridle your tongue.
James, in the closing verses of chapter 2, has talked to us about faith and works. In chapter 3 he is going to talk with us about faith in our words. Words are very important. The things we say and the words we use are very crucial.
Before he specifically gets into the whole area of the tongue and the words we speak with our tongue, he begins in verse 1 with a warning and in verse 2 with a statement. In verse 1 he says, "My brethren, be not many masters." What he's saying is, Don't be overly anxious to be teachers. "Knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." What he's saying here is that those who have been given the assignment to teach have to be very careful about their words and you should not be overly anxious to be a teacher because you are more accountable for the words you use. I'm in this category.
Those who are teachers, those who deal in words, are surgeons of the mind and the soul. Just one wrong word can cut. Just something taught by a teacher can do great damage. We have to be very careful if we are to teach the Word of God because we can direct people's lives and we can give people wrong direction if we are not careful about the words which we use.
He says, ...
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