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James 3 - Powerful Multitool

Your tongue is the clearest picture of God's image in you, so be careful how you use it!

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James 3 Summary

Remember that as we read through James that each chapter stands alone and that it's not really building on the chapter that came before or leading into the chapter that follows. The letter is likely a collections of sermons that James had taught that were sent out to churches James could not physically go to. Even the individual chapters consist of several independent units.

This is why we can say that James is the New Testament version of Proverbs.

Chapter three has two independent passages, and both of today's lessons draw from the same root concept: that what comes out of us must reflect what is in us (or phrased differently, what we are in).

Dig Deeper

Think back to the most difficult interpersonal challenges that you've experienced, and it's highly likely that the whole problem stemmed from something somebody said. Words are powerful things, and almost impossible to contain once they've come out. It's no wonder James compares the words we speak to a fast moving forest fire (v5) or deadly poison (v8).

With something so dangerous, it certainly would be a good idea to reduce the amount you use your tongue, as we read a couple of days ago:

everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak... (1:9)

That doesn't mean, however, that you shouldn't use your tongue at all, just that you must be very careful that it's blessing and not cursing that's coming out (v10).

James also imparts the best way to properly use your tongue. He writes that it must be guided by a wisdom that comes from above... a wisdom that:

is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere (v17).

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father is the source of good wisdom (v17)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God that your tongue may be an instrument of blessing and not cursing.




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